A tar-and-feather protest is scheduled to take place Monday, Jan. 7, at City Hall steps before the Sarasota City Commission considers an appeal of a planned Walmart supercenter on Ringling Boulevard.
According to organizer Paul Tuttle, the protest will feature a demonstration when a smiley face — a reference to a prior marketing icon used by Wal-Mart — will be covered in tar and feathers.
Protesters will be rallying for commissioners to hear an appeal of a Nov. 25 Sarasota Planning Board 3-2 approval of the planned 97,000-square-foot Walmart on Ringling Boulevard.
At the meeting Monday night, commissioners will vote whether to hear an appeal of the planning board decision. The vote must be a super majority (at least 4-1) for the commission to hold an appeal hearing.
The protest was initially planned for Saturday, Dec. 29, but was canceled after organizers found out that some protesters could not attend.
According to the Facebook page of the recently-formed Anti-SRQ Walmart Direct Action Planning Committee, feathers will be used in the demonstration, but molasses will be used in place of tar.
A separate group of residents who live near the proposed supercenter submitted an appeal of the planning board’s Nov. 25 approval of the supercenter’s site plan. Residents who oppose the Walmart say they don’t feel that a large retail store fits in the residential neighborhood close to downtown. Opponents also argue the project is not allowed under the zoning code for the area.
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