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Peaceful Protest in Sebastopol against CVS


Peaceful Protest in Sebastopol against CVS

by Shepherd Bliss

Sebastopol Picket and Boycott, Jan. 19, Sat., 2-4 p.m.

A peaceful picket will occur at CVS Pharmacy at 788 Highway 116 (Gravenstein) North in the Redwood Shopping Center on Sat., Jan. 19, from 2-4 p.m. Occupy Sebastopol, with the support of other groups and individuals, is organizing the protest.

On Christmas Eve, CVS served a lawsuit against the City of Sebastopol. Its City Council had unanimously voted for a 45-day urgency moratorium to withhold building permits for all new developments containing drive- through windows. With popular support, the Council determined that drive-throughs could violate the city's pedestrian-friendly General Plan, so they want to study them. Drive-throughs cause air pollution and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. They would add to the most congested corner in West Sonoma County.

CVS seeks to void the moratorium, which is a temporary halt, not a ban. It wants two drive-throughs in their proposed development, which includes Chase Bank.  They contend that the moratorium is aimed specifically at them and that the ordinance is “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.” However, it refers to any and all new drive-throughs.

The picket seeks to educate people and to support Sebastopol’s right of self-determination and self-governance, without interference by corporations. It will pressure CVS to drop their lawsuit and withdraw their application to build downtown. The picket will support Sebastopol’s elected government to maintain the City’s ecology and small town, local character. The City has until Jan. 24 to respond to the lawsuit.

“CVS has been trying since 2009 to move its store from the edge of town into the downtown core, along with its frequent partner, Chase Bank,” according to college teacher and activist Shepherd Bliss. “They have met resistance from the majority of the population in a David vs. Goliath struggle against the U.S.’s largest pharmacy and largest bank. CVS/Chase still do not have all the necessary design, demolition, building, CalTrans, or traffic permissions and permits.”

“It takes a village to stop CVS,” added Thomas Morabito. “We ask CVS to listen to our community and withdraw the lawsuit,” said Tim Ryan. “The money, time, and effort the City would need to spend to defend itself would be better spent in other ways. We ask people to boycott CVS in Sebastopol and elsewhere,” Ryan added.


More Information: or


Background Information: Link to article that places the CVS struggle in its national context: CVS Pharmacy Embattled Coast-to-Coast,, "Cities from coast-to-coast continue to resist the countrywide expansionist plans of the largest pharmacy in the United States, CVS. In a recent victory for activists, CVS abandoned plans to open a store in Nantucket, Massachusetts, bowing to pressure from a petition with over 4,500 signatures." 

Contacts: Shepherd Bliss, (707) 829-8185, r Thomas Morabito, (707) 823-5272,