An Indiana farmers market reopened over the weekend after a days-long shutdown prompted by tensions over the presence of vendors alleged to have white supremacist ties.
Those vendors, Sarah Dye and Douglas Mackey of Schooner Creek Farm, deny any such link exists, according to the Indiana Daily Student.
“Those are derogatory racial slurs that are used to dehumanize me,” Dye told the publication. She did, however, says she is an identitarian.
Identitarians, according to Notre Dame Press, are a "a quickly growing ethnocultural transnational movement that, in diverse forms, originated in France and Italy and has spread into southern, central, and northern Europe."
Citing First Amendment concerns, the city of Bloomington had declined requests to boot the duo from the farmers market. That spawned protests, leading city leaders to temporarily halt operations over security concerns.
“I can’t kick people out because of what they believe, whatever that belief is," Mayor John Hamilton told TV station WXIN. "If they behave in ways that are problematic for the market, if they behave in ways against the rules, or if they behave outside the market in ways that violate the rules, we can impose, but we can’t be the thought police."
With new security measures in place, the market returned this past weekend. Vendors and shoppers, according to the Bloomington Herald-Times, are split on the continued presence of Schooner Creek Farm. Many, but not all, vendors returned after the hiatus.
“If you are transgender, if you are LGBTQ, if you’re an immigrant, if you’re not from around here or you’re not what people consider to be the face of Bloomington — not white — you should feel welcomed here,” No Space for Hate’s founder Abby Ang told WXIN.
But Robert Hall, leader of Grassroots Conservatives in Bloomington, said he was glad Dye and Mackey returned.
“It’s awful what they’re going through to make a living,” Hall told the Indiana Daily Student.