Collier and Lee County School Districts recently canceled their contacts with Oakes Farm, after seeing a social media post where Oakes called COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement hoaxes and called George Floyd a “disgraceful career criminal.”
An Oakes farmworker, who wished not to be named for fear of retaliation, said, “It’s so frustrating and makes us all angry. Alfie posted that around the same time some of us had tested positive, become ill, and died from COVID-19.”
Then on, Saturday, June 13, a large group of protesters showed up in Naples, marching in the pouring rain from North Collier Regional Park to the Seed to Table Market spurred on by one of several controversial Facebook posts made by store owner, Alfie Oakes. Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters, alongside the Activist Protection League of SWFL, stood chanting in the downpour waving signs. One sign even read “Seed to Toilet,” an expression of the disgust for the company and it’s owner.
Oakes organized a counter protest in the name of the “All Lives Matter” movement. The counter protestors sang the National Anthem and waved American flags. They chanted, “Back the Blue” and spoke about supporting Law Enforcement regardless of any recent problems that have occurred.
BLM protestors argued they were not there protesting against law enforcement, in fact they were there protesting racial injustice and systemic racism, that has allowed police violence and corruption to go on unchecked and often without criminal charges.
After protesters and counter protesters dueled at the market, in Naples on Saturday, June 13, the movement continued in Immokalee on Tuesday at Oaks Farms where the two groups again faced off. The mood was tense as they chanted and yelled at each other.
Oakes continued to stand behind his words, saying he doesn’t apologize for what he was trying to convey through his Facebook post. He did explain, “I would only apologize about the tone and how it was understood. I would have said it in a better way if I knew it would turn into this.”