Cuban community plans rally at NuLu restaurant in response to Black Lives Matter demands

From WWW.COURIER-JOURNAL.COM

Members of Louisville's Cuban community plan to gather Sunday in support of a NuLu restaurant owner who says he was threatened by Black Lives Matter protesters during a recent demonstration.

Fernando Martinez, a partner of the Olé Restaurant Group, was one of dozens of business owners in the downtown Louisville district who recently received a letter from protesters laying out demands that aim to improve diversity in the area, which is known for its locally-owned shops and restaurants.

Martinez has publicly denounced the demands on Facebook, calling them "mafia tactics" used to intimidate business owners. And on Thursday, a small group of protesters confronted him outside his newest restaurant, La Bodeguita de Mima, on East Market Street.

"There comes a time in life that you have to make a stand and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in," Martinez wrote in his Facebook post. "... All good people need to denounce this. How can you justified (sic) injustice with more injustice?"

According to a press release, members of the city's Cuban community will meet outside the NuLu restaurant at 4 p.m. Sunday to support the immigrant-owned business, which "has been subject to vandalism and extortion in recent days."

The release states that La Bodeguita de Mima was forced to close July 24 during a demonstration that shut down East Market Street, at which several protesters presented Martinez with the list of demands and said he "better put the letter on the door so your business is not f*cked with."

The restaurant remained closed the next two days because "management and staff were concerned about safety," according to the release. "30+ staff members (mostly immigrants) were unable to earn a paycheck."

On Thursday, a small group of protesters returned to the restaurant after seeing Martinez's post about the demands on Facebook. While there, one protester smashed a flower pot outside the business, while the rest spoke with Martinez and other employees about why the demands are needed.

The demands and an attached contract, which were created by local organizers and activists, ask NuLu business o... (Read more)

Submitted 10 days ago


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