Five people have filed a civil lawsuit alleging that the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli products at its two stores in July 2010 was unfair and violated its own rules and bylaws.
The lawsuit names five plaintiffs who are or were co-op members at the time of the boycott: Kent and Linda Davis, Jeffrey and Susan Trinin, and Susan Mayer. Sixteen past and present board members are named as defendants.
The suit states that the co-op’s rules require the board to make decisions by consensus, and that not all members had agreed to the boycott. It also claims that the proposed boycott was not “nationally recognized.”
The co-op’s policy allows it to “honor nationally recognized boycotts which are called for reasons that are compatible with (OFC’s) goals and mission statement,” the suit states. No other U.S. food co-op has adopted a similar boycott, it states.
Israeli products removed from the Olympia stores include gluten-free crackers, ice cream cones and a moisturizing cream, according to a former board member. Board member T.J. Johnson, who is named as a defendant in the suit, said Wednesday that he could not comment on the lawsuit because he has not seen it. An employee said Wednesday that the co-op’s staff board representative was unavailable for comment.