More than 200 breastfeeding mothers took over a cafe in Park Street, Bristol, UK, after a breastfeeding mother alleged she was verbally abused by a waitress at the cafe because she was breastfeeding her baby.
The Sun reports Kelly Schaecher, 28, said she was at the Park Street Cafe for lunch when a waitress told her she would have to sit in a corner if she wanted to breastfeed her five-month-old baby, Sasha.
The Huffington Post reports Kelly said: "When I was asked to move I just felt so ashamed. It made me feel really self-conscious and embarrassed even though I wasn't actually doing anything wrong."
Kelly said she got up and left cafe, and as she walked down the road a car came after her and a waitress screamed from the car: "Don’t you ever come back to my cafe with your t*** out again!"
According to Kelly, "When this happened, I was absolutely terrified and really shocked. I was only breastfeeding, and Bristol is a really family-friendly city.You see girls in nightclubs barely wearing any clothes all the time, so why would someone have a problem with me feeding my child? I turned around and said to her 'You don’t know what’s coming' even though at this stage I had no idea we were going to assemble in the cafe."
Kelly spread the word online and two groups of activists called the "lactivists" and "mother suckers" organized a mob to invade the cafe and breastfeed in protest of the treatment of Kelly.
Daily Mail reports that the action of the group soon attracted attention. Schoolchildren gathered and cheered while policewomen on horseback accompanied them as they marched into the cafe.
The Sun reports that Kelly explained: "What we did was a peaceful gathering, not a protest and we had a really good reaction from the police and the public. A group of schoolchildren started clapping us and there were six policewomen on horseback to make sure no one drifted in the road. "
According to Kelly: "The cafe's owner was really apologetic and gave everyone a free tea or coffee and a free cake. He can't help it if one of his staff was rude to me and he has now put up a sign saying 'Breastfeeding is allowed in here.'"
Daily Mail reports that Davide Pontini, 35, general manager of the Park Street Cafe, said: "We want to make it clear that we welcome all mothers and we have women breastfeeding in here on a daily basis. It's not company policy for us to make women breastfeed in the corner. This was simply an isolated incident due to a misunderstanding."
Some of the women activists expressed their feelings about the incident. According to The Huffington Post, Kate Wilshire, said: "What happened to Kelly was disgusting. I'm not very confident breastfeeding in public and if that happened to me I would be put off completely, it's bad enough when people pull funny faces."
Another young mother said: "Mothers can already be self-conscious about breastfeeding in public so something like this could crush you."
Kelly, speaking after the protest, said: "It is exactly what I wanted, we've all had free coffee and cakes and now Davide has put the 'we welcome breastfeeding' sign in the window. It's a winning situation for everyone involved. I have accepted the apologies."
The Huffington Post reports Kelly works as an administrator at Bristol University and she is currently on maternity leave.