Breast-feeding mums in 'flash-mob' protest at Bristol cafe
HUNDREDS of mothers descended on a small city centre cafe after a woman was told off – for breastfeeding.
The 'mother-suckers' were protesting on behalf of Kelly Shaecher after she claimed she was mistreated by staff at the Park Street Cafe for breast-feeding her baby.
The cafe's general manager, Davide Pontini, greeted the band of activists on College Green with a full apology before inviting them into his cafe for free drinks.
The protests were sparked when Colorado-born Kelly Shaecher claimed that she was asked to move when feeding her five-month-old baby, Shasha, in the cafe last week.
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The 28-year-old Ms Shaecher, who works in procurement for Bristol University, says the waiter told her she was "impolite" for choosing to feed in the middle of the cafe and asked her to move to the corner.
After she left the cafe, Ms Sachaer claims that a woman who works there gave her further abuse.
Ms Shaecher said: "I was walking up Park St and a black Audi pulled over violently and a woman screamed at me from her open window."
"She said to 'never come to her cafe again and get my t*** out and don't tell other people not to come here'.
"I was scared and shocked at this and started to cry."
After posting details of her disturbing treatment on a Facebook group titled 'mother suckers', hundreds of supportive mothers helped to arrange a 'flash mob'.
Around 200 parents gathered at the cafe yesterday and many began to feed their babies inside in a show of solidarity.
Ms Shaecher told the Post she was "overwhelmed" with the crowds.
She said: "I can't believe the show of support. It's exactly what I wanted. I didn't want to harm the business. Our goal was just to show that they are in clear breach of the equalities act by asking a breast-feeding woman to move and we achieved that."
Ms Shachaer handed Mr Pontini a copy of the Equalities Act outside the Council House in College Green.
The manager of the cafe, which is part of the Java bar and nightclub, gave a full apology on behalf of his Italian waiter – who he said was mistaken in his choice of words.
He said: "I can reassure you that in my country mothers are the most important people in our lives.
"And as for whatever happened after on the street, I can reassure you, it will be dealt with properly when we have found out the facts."
Mr Pontini told the Post later that the woman who screamed at Ms Shaecher on the street was working as an accountant for the cafe-bar.
He said he will be investigating the matter properly after he has found out all the facts.
Among the many mothers who packed into the cafe yesterday was Kate Wilshire from Whitchurch and her four-month-old baby.
She said: "When I heard about what happened I was disgusted to be honest. I came to support breast-feeding because I know, as a new mother, what a struggle it can be to get used to it.
"I've not had any problems myself but that's because I don't breast feed in public in fear of something similar to this happening. But it's nice to be here and breast feed amongst company."
Jess Amey, 28, from Glastonbury, said: "If today can make other cafes aware of how to treat women breast feeding then that would be great. It's about supporting women feeling comfortable doing something that is, after all, completely natural."