Protesters demonstrate in support of fruit vendor in viral video

Demonstrators line up on Sand Canyon Road in front of Bergie's Bar and Grill in Santa Clarita on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
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At least 70 people gathered on a Canyon Country street Saturday to protest a Santa Clarita Valley restaurant owner who was featured on a viral video in a confrontation with a street vendor.

The video, which was published last week, shows the Bergie’s Bar and Grill owners, who are a couple, admonishing Leobardo Ramirez and Sergio Medina, L.A. residents who own La Palma Fresh Fruit. In the video, Ramirez and Medina have their fruit stand set up next to a gas station near the Bergie’s location, and the owner is chastising them to leave the area, questioning whether the pair were licensed — which they later acknowledged not to be. 

“Our message of this protest is to spread love for our street vendors, our immigrant workers, our Hispanic community in Santa Clarita, and more specifically Canyon Country, it’s a message of love, it’s not a message of hate,” said Olive Simpson, one of the event organizers and a member of SCV Workers for Opportunity. 

Demonstrators line up on Sand Canyon Road in front of Bergie’s Bar and Grill in Santa Clarita on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
Demonstrators line up on Sand Canyon Road in front of Bergie’s Bar and Grill in Santa Clarita on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

The protesters said they had seen the video that featured the owners of Bergie’s Bar and Grill telling the owners of La Palma Fresh Fruit their fruit stand was illegal. 

After the video went viral, a few hundred people went to the La Palma fruit stand this past week in a showing of support for Ramirez and Medina. 

Demonstrators line up on Sand Canyon Road in front of Bergie’s Bar and Grill in Santa Clarita on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
Michael Castaneda uses a megaphone as he lines up with demonstrators line up on Sand Canyon Road in front of Bergie’s Bar and Grill in Santa Clarita on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
Demonstrators line up on Sand Canyon Road in front of Bergie’s Bar and Grill in Santa Clarita on Saturday, July 18, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

The protesters’ goal on Saturday was not to force Bergie’s to close, but to spread awareness and compassion for their fellow man, Simpson said. 

“It’s the opportunity to show someone that we can educate them peacefully on why racism and bigotry are wrong and unacceptable,” said Simpson. “One more person being educated, is one more person towards making the world a better place.” 

Bergie’s ownership could not be reached for comment as of the publication of this story.

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