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Bloomington Mayor To Host Facebook Live About Farmers' Market Solutions

The city temporarily shut the market down amid growing controversy. (WFIU/WTIU)

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton will host a Facebook live discussion Monday to talk about solutions to make the farmers' market a "safe, welcoming, inclusive and enjoyable experience for all."

The city suspended the market for two weeks starting Aug. 3 after growing controversy over the presence of Schooner Creek Farm, whose owner has alleged white supremacist ties. Dye has turned down or not responded to our requests for interviews. 

Some residents say Schooner Creek shouldn't be allowed at the market because the vendor's presence makes them feel unsafe. Groups have been handing out flyers to inform market-goers about the situation for weeks and to discourage them from buying from Schooner Creek. There have also been protests, and police arrested an Indiana University professor in July after they say she refused to leave the market. 

Some have criticized the city's response to the ongoing tension, saying the arrest was counter to the reasoning the city gave for not booting Schooner Creek from the market: to protect free speech

The same weekend of the arrest, several members of a group called the Indiana Three Percent showed up at the market to ensure Dye wasn't being harassed. The national organization's website says it's committed to defending the Constitution. "We dont not seek to incite a revolution," the website says. "However, we will defend ourselves when necessary."

Hamilton said the decision to temporarily shut the market down following the events of the July 27 market was in the best interest of public safety

The mayor and Parks and Recreation Administrator Paula McDevitt will take questions and comments about the market during Monday's Facebook live. The event posting says the discussion will focus on how to support vendors and how best to relaunch the market. 

A temporary market will take place for a second time this weekend at Bloomingfoods East. 

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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