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Zapatista Coffee vs. Starbucks, Oxford

spanner | 02.06.2004 15:02 | Ecology | Social Struggles | Zapatista | Oxford

Report and photos from Starbucks, Cornmarket Street, Oxford

There was free coffee today at the Starbucks coffee shop in Oxford.
Not inside Starbucks itself though: it was from the activists out on the pavement in front.

The aim was to combine solidarity with the Zapatistas and the Palestinians by distributing Zapatistas coffee, while boycotting the zionist corporation Starbucks.

It was a busy Wednesday lunchtime in Oxford city centre, and Cornmarket was crowded with people taking their lunch hour shopping, eating lunch and taking in a rare bit of sun.

A table was set up, and we handed out leaflets and chatted with passers-by, and gave out free cups of delicious Zapatista coffee. Just how delicious is it, I hear you ask? Buy some today, and find out. You can order some for yourself, or start distributing it, by emailing

The reponse we got was overwhelmingly positive: some people we chatted with had no idea about the terrible economics behind coffee, or that Starbucks gives the people who actually produce their coffee such a shite deal, or that Starbucks has such strong ties to Israel. I had no negative responses at all, though some people were too busy to stop and talk.

Find out more about more about what the coffee you drink has to do with solidarity with the Zapatistas here:

Find out more about the ultra-zionist chief executive of Starbucks here, and learn why it's important to support the boycott of Starbucks:

- Homepage:


Hide the following 12 comments

nice one

02.06.2004 16:03

We did a similar thing in Bristol a few weeks ago, had a very positive effect too!

tekno anarchist

Flyer distributed

02.06.2004 16:41


No Starbucks!
No Starbucks!

Here's the flyer that was distributed (the logos were also included in the flyer):

Zapatista Coffee

This coffee is completely organic, and all money raised by buying this coffee will go directly into the autonomous communities that produced it. It is direct solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Mexico.

Coffee is, after oil, the second largest export on the world market; it has a turnover of about 10 billion dollars. Its production employs 25 million people in the southern hemisphere. These people, whose livelihood is based on coffee production, are dependent on the price trends fixed by the north hemisphere financial commodities markets.

In Mexico more than 3 million people depend on the production of coffee and on its exportation. 91.7% are small producers with less than five hectares of land, and more than 60% of these are indigenous peoples. The other 8.3% own a number of enormously extended estates that are the fruits of occupations of indigenous lands; these occupations have been promoted and supported by the Mexican government.

No Starbucks!

  • While Starbucks is enjoying record profits, its Third World coffee farmers can't even afford to adequately feed their children.
  • Starbucks currently buys 32 million gallons of milk each year that is laced in rBGH (hormones that are illegal in every industrialized nation in the world).
  • If $tarbucks finds a successful coffee establishment they build one or more locations to take their business. They also lease buildings to keep out competition.

  • Howard Shultz, the chairman of Starbucks is an active zionist.
  • His work as a propagandist for Israel has been praised by the Israeli Foreign Ministry as being key to Israels long-term PR success.
  • Recently whilst the Israeli army was slaughtering Palestinians in Jenin, Nabulus and Bethlehem he made a provocative speech asking people to unite behind Israel.


More pictures and html flyer

02.06.2004 16:51

Zapatista vs Starbucks
Zapatista vs Starbucks

No Starbucks!
No Starbucks!


No Starbucks!
No Starbucks!

Two more pictures, the logos used for the flyers and the html version of both sides of the flyer. Well done everyone! :-)



02.06.2004 17:43

Did an anarchist group do this?



02.06.2004 19:06

Well I suppose so, seen as I didn't know I was doing it on behalf of the Oxford student activists it must have been anarchist.

The information was not from boycott USA either it was boycott Israel (even though they may have the same government).

The original web-site which was copied by Usa boycott is Muslim and the target was Israel, this is why I chose it.

Why has it been changed?

- Homepage:

Another thing

02.06.2004 19:45

To use term ultra-zionist seems to say that there is a scale where being zionist is less bad than being ultra-zionist. This distinction does not exist- those who support zionism are zionists, there is nothing more. has a lot more useful info on this and other things (indeed a lot of there work is copied by others except with the original motives extracted)

But remember these are just comments, unfortunatly you cant convey the way you really feel on a computer. I don`t mean to upset anyone except zionists.

- Homepage:


02.06.2004 20:16

In response to your comments, rBGH is banned in every industrialised nation except the USA.

It is used by Starbucks in the USA.

rBGH was banned in Europe but I believe the WTO has forced Europe to lift this ban. Governments and their laws take time to do these things so maybe it isn`t being used here yet. If you remember I said I think its EU ban is being lifted.

Apparently the ban has stayed in defiance of the WTO ruling

The original web-site refered to on the flyer was unavailiable just now but this site has the same info .

If you are interested please find out more and tell us.

Confused Young Man
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:


02.06.2004 22:34

Oxford Student Action Network > Oxford Student Activist Network
(pretty equivalent meaning though :)

BTW the way things tend to work in Oxford is there are lots of loose informal networks of activists, and like-minded people from lots of groups come together for actions and one particular group can't really take credit, even if we wanted to :) Which we don't!

Having said that, OSAN is a useful tool for meeting like-minded people and then doing stuff together, so if you're interested, come along to a meeting... see for

an OSANer

re: rBGH

02.06.2004 23:26

Greetings from Florida, a US state which produces a large amount of beef and dairy. rBGH, also known as "Posilac" remains a very hot issue here: it still hasn't gone away, though Bush's pals in the agri-corporate world would dearly like it to.

The recent publicity over the true extent of Mad Cow Disease in the US has brought rBGH and other genetically modified livestock growth hormones back out of the closet.

It might be true now to say that rBGH "has been banned" in every industrialised country in the world apart from the USA, and that only recent heavy pressure from the USA has forced the EU to begin going through the motions of lifting the ban. But since Monsanto (the only producer) have recently announced that they are cutting production of Posilac/rBGH by 50% following production problems and a skirmish with the regulators, it's doubtful that they'll have any stocks to sell to dairy farmers outside the US. Milk prices are shooting up in the US right now, since the artificially high production that the growth hormones gave has now suddenly dropped, shrinking the supply with little warning to the farmers. Hence Monsanto will be selling Posilac almost exclusively in the US, and practically none in Europe, for the forseeable future; the EU realized it was safe to concede that point in the WTO bargaining, face was saved on both sides, etc.

But Starbucks worldwide imports its milk from the US, and 3/4 of it is sourced from herds where Posilac is used to stimulate production. So just about the only way British consumers are likely to get a sip of Posilac is in their Starbucks cappucino.

Now the hard question is this: how do you folks propose to get all that complex hormonal politics into a little leaflet that you give out on the street? :)

You could change the wording of that second bullet to "Starbucks currently buys 32 million gallons of milk each year that is laced in rBGH, an artifical growth hormone banned in many countries on safety grounds, and which remains controversial in the USA where it's produced."

Great action though, and the free Zapatista coffee was a particularly good touch. Keep it up!


OSAN clarification

02.06.2004 23:26

Just to clarify: this action wasn't done in the name or organised by OSAN (Oxford Student Activist Network), although many people involved in OSAN participated. In fact it had mainly been organised through informal discussions and meetings at OCSET, the social centre, and then "publicised" through networks of activism throughout Oxford. So there was no "group" (whether anarchist or not) behind this action, only people willing to do something for the Zapatistas and against Starbucks. :-)

But if you think these kinds of actions are great and want to get involved, it's probably a good idea to come to OCSET (as long as it's still there), or to come to an OSAN meeting (, or an Oxford Indymedia meeting...


Excellent work!

03.06.2004 00:45

If Starbucks STILL aren't prepared to sell all, or at least the vast majority, of their coffee as fairly traded, they shouldn't complain when Zapatista Coffee overtakes them! :)


Troll comments hidden

03.06.2004 20:09

Please don't feed the trolls.