The Magazine

Only in New York

The battle of the Park Slope Food Coop.

Apr 9, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 29 • By ZACK MUNSON
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By 8 p.m., an hour after the meeting was supposed to start, the line still stretches for two blocks. Even with a thousand people still outside, the meeting has in fact begun, according to a member who volunteered to text me from inside. As the meeting progresses he reports that it is .  .  . relatively uneventful. There is a push to ban applause at one point and replace it with “twinkling” (jazz hands). There’s some yelling about Gaza. There’s a guy who briefly refuses to yield the floor, and a legal injunction to refrain from taking videos or tweeting (not texting, thankfully). He tells me it’s mostly civil: People make their cases, no fights break out, nobody walks out in a fury, everybody casts their ballot in peace. And then about half leave immediately after voting without waiting to hear the result.

As people stream out, nobody is particularly on edge about the outcome. There is no bickering on the street, no violent scenes for the TV crews to capture. People are laughing and smiling, unlocking the dozens of bikes chained to the iron gate around the school or walking off into the brisk Brooklyn evening .  .  . Well, what’d you expect? They don’t live in Gaza. They have babysitters to pay.

The result of the vote was “No,” by a margin of 1,005 to 653. No to holding a referendum on joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, no to banning Israeli goods, no to grocery store foreign policy. I guess sometimes reason does prevail, even in a place that sells vegan marshmallows.

Zack Munson is an editorial assistant at The Weekly Standard.

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