Christmas Eve Protest Over Soda Maker Turns "Violent"

Carolers escorted out of Cliff's, perhaps rudely

By Chris Roberts
|  Thursday, Dec 27, 2012  |  Updated 2:13 PM PDT
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Palestine -- and the West Bank -- is front-and-center in a Castro District conflict over a soda water-making machine.

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Songs were sung, blows were exchanged, and accusations made. All over a soda water-maker -- and Israel-Palestine, of course.

A Christmas Eve protest over the Soda Stream -- the magical machine that injects carbonation into what SFist described as otherwise tepid tap water -- at Cliff's Variety store on Castro Street ended abruptly, with bruised egos and possibly bruised body parts on both sides, according to the Web site.

A group of protesters entered the store to sing carols decrying the Soda Stream's parent company as "profiting" from industrial production in the West Bank. Some store employees let them get through a few bars and then took umbrage, calling the police and escorting them -- not necessarily politely -- out of the store, according to video of the incident.

Cliff's Variety manager Martha Asten claimed that a protester in purple hair tried to bite one of her employees, according to SFist. The  protesters, on Facebook, say that they were shoved around by store employees and filed police reports. No word on whether they will press charges, or recommend a conflict-free way of making one's own sparkling water at home.

There will be another protest of the Soda Stream, which may be widened now to include its sellers, outside of Cliff's on Friday night. A vigil, SFist reported.

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