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An Indiana farmers market was suspended after a vendor's alleged ties to white nationalists were revealed

City cites public safety concerns
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Posted at 11:30 AM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 14:30:11-04

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — After a protester was arrested Saturday at the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market, the city announced Monday that the market would cease operations for the next two weeks. The "concerns about public safety" also comes two days after a group called No Space for Hate released plans to protest at the farmers market Saturday, Aug. 3.

The tension stems from a vendor at the market who has alleged ties to white nationalist causes and groups. According to a release by the city, officials have "identified increasing threats to public safety."

"As Mayor, I have spoken for our City to condemn white nationalism and white supremacists as a scourge on our country and our community, and to promise that we will do all we can to overcome their legacies and any current efforts," Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton said. "We also want to assure that everyone knows that all are welcome in our inclusive Bloomington, and that our Farmers' Market will embody those values of inclusion and welcoming, as well as be a safe space for all to gather, as our community expects every Saturday."

The protester, identified as Indiana University professor Cara Caddoo, was arrested Saturday for reportedly refusing to move from in front of a booth belonging to Sarah Dye and Doug Mackey, according to Indiana Public Media . The couple, who runs the Schooner Creek Farm booth, have been accused of having ties to white supremacist Nolan Brewer .

In a viral post, the Caddoo can be seen holding a sign and standing side-by-side with the group who allegedly is part of white nationalist movements. In another photo, she is seen being arrested by Bloomington Police Department.

According to the Bloomington Police Department, Caddoo was holding a sign and pacing in front of the vendor booth when staff from the Parks and Recreation Department and the City Department for the Farmers' Market advised the officers to make contact with the protester "to reiterate their requests that she relocate to a designated area to protest."

Caddoo was holding up a sign near Schooner Creek’s booth that said she had been harassed by Dye and Mackey, according to video of the incident.

BPD says that the professor refused to remove herself from the area after repeated requests from officers, which led to her arrest. She was taken into custody and transported to the Monroe County Jail. She is being charged with criminal trespass, a class A misdemeanor.

“In light of recommendations from our local public safety officials, advice from national experts, and awareness of recent tragic incidents of violence at similar public gatherings, we are hitting the pause button to protect public safety in Bloomington,” Hamilton said. “We will be gathering with a wide range of local folks to identify how best our community embodies our values of justice and inclusion, and protects our treasure of the Farmers’ Market.”

Last month the city released another statement on the alleged white-supremacist affiliations of the vendor where the Mayor said:

"I join the vast majority of Bloomingtonians in abhorring and unequivocally condemning the odious doctrine of white supremacy. We know how important speaking out against hate is these days, with events and statements in our country and around the world seeming to open the door for hateful ideologies."

A press conference will be held on Wednesday morning to address the community's concerns.

This story was originally published by Shakkira Harris on WRTV . The E.W. Scripps national team contributed to this report.