portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

actions & protests | corporate dominance | neighborhood news | sustainability stop starbucks

broken window at Starf*cks on se 20th

good work. if each unhappy neighbor could just chose different nights and different rocks.
what part of: we don't want you here
do they not understand?
Sovereignty Soon to Follow? 28.Apr.2004 12:01

banderín negro

But isn't *$ bringing "freedom" and "democracy" to SE Division & 20th?

Maybe they will have to hire Blackwater security mercenaries and set up a safety perimiter, until "the people" understand.

You Have No Understanding of Human Relations 28.Apr.2004 12:39


>good work. if each unhappy neighbor could just chose different nights and different rocks.
>what part of: we don't want you here
>do they not understand?

Just who do you think you are? Who gave you the authority to take these matters into your own hands? Do you pretend to know what kind of coffee people should be drinking better than they do? Let's think about this, you're trashing coffee shops. Nice work. You must be some really important protestor of some sort. Brilliant work. What part of freedom don't you understand? That includes things as drinking the coffee you wish to consume. My God, get a life and pick a real cause.

Does this hurt Starbucks or the locally owned construction company? 28.Apr.2004 12:49


A few weeks ago the no-starbucks-in-7-corners mailing list had an email from the folks at Mirador who mentioned that the locally owned construction company was the one footing the bill for the window repair until starbucks takes possesion of the property. That email was the result of some damage a few weeks back to some windows.

I just want to bring this up again here, because it's also been mention on that mailing list that some of the contractors working on the project don't even like Starbucks, and if this new damage is hurting them and their local companies does that really help the situation at all?

I'm not in favor of property destruction and even if you are - you should make sure that you are targeting the correct place. Have you cost a local company another $500-$1000 with your rocks or are you SURE you've hit Starbucks in the pocket book?

Just wanted to say think about it.

Ethical dilemmas and collateral damage 28.Apr.2004 13:18


I normally agree with jbk, but I want to put this comment into perspective:

"because it's also been mention on that mailing list that some of the contractors working on the project don't even like Starbucks, and if this new damage is hurting them and their local companies does that really help the situation at all?"

If the contractors don't like Starbucks, then they shouldn't be building a new store for Starbucks. No one put a gun to their head and demanded that they accept Starbuck's money. Yes, it's true that the Portland economy sucks and things can get rough for a contractor who refuses work for ethical reasons. However, they have to understand that if they make the deliberate choice to work for a company that is a lightning rod for criticism and vandalism, then they might experience collateral damage as a result of that decision. Particularly when neighborhood residents are very pissed off at the building's owner for originally lying to them about a Starbucks coming there, at a time when pro-active action could have been taken to prevent this. This kind of vandalism is not legal and it's definitely not fair to local contractors (or even Starbucks), but it's becoming a reality that corporations have to face as the part of the cost of doing business.

good 28.Apr.2004 13:20


this is a good thing. the asshole who bought that property knew from the start that starbucks was not welcome in that neighborhood. He did it despite that and despite the public outrage. Fuck him for being a bad neighbor.

The point is that local businesses are owned by local people who live, work and care about the neighborhood. When franchise fees leave the neighborhood it harms it. When corporate business with the sterile goods and appearance are in the neighborhood it looks ugly and encourages other exploitative businesses to come into the neighborhood.

I'm glad the window got smashed. I hope it gets smashed every fucking day until the asshole closes up shop.

Whoever said kicking out *$'s had anything to do with 28.Apr.2004 13:47

keeping people from choosing what kind of coffee they drink?

I don't think people are throwing rocks at starbucks because they want to stifle freedom of choice. It has a lot more to do with mechanized unemotional efficiency that this multi-national Coffee Corporation brings with it. Aside from global cries from the third-world to stop the effects of this monopolistic companies' impacts on the cash crop economy, and brutal policies and living conditions in area where wealth and land centralization are hurting actual people, the forest, and the water, there are also the cries of people in the Division area who have worked hard to make that one of the most-community-oriented neighborhoods in Portland, who are watching big, uncaring corporations capitalize on their good reputation, throw up ugly/glitzy and always generic box buildings, drive up the property values and rents, and generally destroy their domestic way of life.
If you were actually able to follow that long-ass sentence, I bestow upon you the aura of intellectual bliss and you can make any decision on the matter you damn well please, but be aware of that there is more to it than what ugly fucking legally-drugged beverage our citizens are slogging through their lips.

So turnabout is fair play? 28.Apr.2004 16:22

(can be anonymous or made up)

So by your logic, if someone disagrees with your socio-political philosphy they could destroy your belongings?

Freedom and Contractors 28.Apr.2004 16:29


Urban Works, which owns the property is hardly a struggling local do-gooder business. It owns half the property under construction in this city and is a whore to national and multinational chains like Starbucks and Subway. They lied to the neighborhood, telling them a Starbucks would not be put in the property, and then went right ahead and did it anyway. If the owner of urban works gets a hole in his enormous pocketbook because of this, it's simply karma biting him in the ass. As for the actual construction workers, the longer they have to work on this building, fixing windows and what not, the longer they'll be employed.

As for TragicHipster's comments (apropriate name), "Who gave you the authority to take these matters into your own hands?...What part of freedom don't you understand? That includes things as drinking the coffee you wish to consume."

You see, when developers, the city, and multinational corporations come and fuck over our neighborhoods, raise rent costs, and contribute to the degradation and homoginification of our world, we don't wait for someone to "give us the authority" to take action. If the city, developer, and corporation aren't getting the message that this is our neighborhood and we don't want a Starbucks there, then apparently we have to make the message more clear and put it in a language they understand ($$$). As for freedom, what about a neighborhood's freedom to determine what it wants to be turned into, it's freedom to support local businesses, and it's freedom to have a voice in this city. However, I realize these issues pale in comparison to the vital freedom to choose your coffee and have that coffee availible on every street corner in the country. But then, maybe your confusing "freedom" with something else. I think your comment would be better prased "What part of capitalism don't you understand?"

Huzzah to the rock throwers! 28.Apr.2004 20:37

concerned citizen of the seven-corners neighborhood

My hat goes off to whoever it was that had the guts to strike the first real blow. My advice to you is two part:

1. Don't bother locking horns with those that cling to an arbitrary bourgeoise morality. You will not convince them that your actions were indeed rational and logical. They will come to understand soon enough that propaganda of the deed is necessary when other forms of self-defense have failed.

2. Keep on doin your thing, but for God's sake don't get arrested! That'll only serve the Man's interests. But I'm sure you already know that.

Peace, Conscience, and Solidarity

yay! 29.Apr.2004 11:00

keep at it , kiddos

yay for broken starbucks windows, so cliche but yet still so pretty.

A blow for a liveable neighborhood 29.Apr.2004 15:46

sends the right message

It is good, the bricks let the fresh air in to thin out the stiffling stench of Starchunks contained within the building. Whoever did it-keep doing it!

Can you say narrow-minded?? 29.Apr.2004 15:50


While Starbucks is a big corporation, it has a long way to go to be as heinous as Wal-mart, for example. It does sell fair trade coffee, pays decent wages, provides health insurance for part-time employees, and allows employees to buy into company stock options. Definitely a better deal than your average barista, or employee at fast food restaurants.

Don't forget 29.Apr.2004 18:58


Starbucks may smaller than Wal-mart but they are an equal player in the game of dumbing down the culture of coffee. If they have their way there will eventually only be Starbucks. If they were actually good employers they would be profit sharing. Capitalist fucks they are. Good riddance when they go.

Another perspective to check out 30.Apr.2004 05:20

Capitalist, middle-class, married, white, heterosexual male

Hey, cowards, check this out...this is how a proud veteran looks at things. By the way, take a shower, unless you're too scared it will inflict permanent damage to the world's water supply. What a bunch of conspiracy theory pusses....


hilarious 30.Apr.2004 12:44

anarchist, unemployed, in love, white, heterosexual male

That last post was the funniest damn thing I've seen in a while. I laughed til I cried. Thanks for reminding us that there is a never ending supply of you crazies out there. :-)

what's wrong with starbucks? 05.May.2004 00:05

concerned neighbor

Starbucks is currently engaging in predatory land buyouts of small farmers in Chiapas, Mexico. While the fact that their coffee is not fair trade (except for a tiny percentage) may not matter much to you, the consumer, it sure does matter to those farmworkers being paid a pittance and forced into debt while losing their self-sufficiency.

Yes, Starbucks is as bad as Walmart, or any other major corporation that engages in predatory behavior both on the production side (see above) and on the retail side, often placing several of their chain stores in the same area to undercut prices and put the nearby local coffeeshop (they almost always locate very near an existing, locally owned coffeeshop) OUT of business.

Coffee farmers are becoming even more impoverished, going further into debt and losing their land due to extremely low world coffee prices. Meanwhile coffee companies such as Starbucks have not lowered consumer prices but are pocketing the difference, even taking into account the quality premiums in the specialty industry.

According to Fair Trade Labeling Organizations International, Fair Trade farmers sell only about 20% of their coffee at a Fair Trade price. The rest is sold at the world price, due to lack of demand. Demand can be created by large corporations selling Fair Trade.

See these links for more info about the kinds of practices Starbucks is engaging in, and what people are doing about it:



 link to www.globalexchange.org

Of all the things to protest in this town! 05.May.2004 08:54

Lori Mitchell pnkrkgrrl@yahoo.com

I live only blocks away from the new Starbucks & throughout this entire silly "commotion" I have been incredibly irritated with the fact that people seem to be more vocal about a damn Starbucks opening shop than they are about the state of our children's educations or the fact that Portland police are out of control murderers or the lack of services for our incredibly visable homeless population, etc, etc, etc!

If you people want a real cause to get up & arms about, there are plenty of them in Portland that could use some serious support. Or is it just easier to throw stones at glass houses? C'mon people... Ladds Addition is one of the biggest stuck up, yuppy neighborhood I can imagine. Why would a Starbucks on the corner surprise anyone? Frankly, I've wondered for years how this neighborhood had managed to avoid having one!

Oh, & on the school issue... my son goes to Abernethy & guess what? Starbucks will be good to his school. They donate things, sponsor things & have more money to lay on the line than local business does. Besides, I'll take the anonymous staff at Starbucks over the nosey, busy-body witch at K&F any day of the week!

It's the little things 06.May.2004 00:25

anonymous AND made up


I was wondering the same thing about why people get worked up about something like a single Starbuck's, and the best answer I can come up with is that it's graspable. It's the same reason nightly news does stories about one soldier in Iraq (like, say Jessica Lynch) but don't really take on the huge issue of whether we should be there or not. I can't tell you how to truly defeat homelessness, or stop bad cops, but it seems like if enough people throw enough bricks through the Starbucks' windows, they might actually close up that one shop. That might put a nick in that big bloated corporation, and inspire other people to fight all the big corporations that suck the wealth out of local areas.

On the school issue: I see what you mean about the donations, but I'd wager that those contribution are simply marketing disguised as giving back to the community. I wonder if the Starbucks name and logo is all over those contributions, getting the captive audience (your kid) familiar with the brand at an early age. Maybe I'm just paranoid from reading Fast Food Nation (great book, check it out), but I'm pretty sure a giant corporation doesn't do anything like that without some notion of how it will come around to boosting their profits.

Incidentally, I don't have anything against corporations making profits, but it's inaccurate to think that they act out of any motive other than profit. They're legally bound to value profit above all else, in the interest of their shareholders.

I want to offer up this possibility: if there was a locally owned business on that corner, all its wealth would stay in the community, rather than getting siphoned off to Seattle (except for the low wages and occasional school donation that stays here). I think having that wealth stay in the community would ultimately benefit your son more than a few donations ever will.