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Starbucks- not in our neighbourhood

Neo-Natal Wilfred aka Captain Planet | 03.11.2005 12:02 | Animal Liberation | Culture | Globalisation | Sheffield

Friday 28th of October 2005 saw local Sheffield groups standing up to the corporate giant 'Starbucks' invading their local communities.

speckled eggs are nice
speckled eggs are nice

we want to build more starbucks
we want to build more starbucks

drinking up time
drinking up time

friends together
friends together

round the corner we go...
round the corner we go...

In the last year, four spanking new 'Starbucks' coffee shops have sprung up in Sheffield. This has not gone unnoticed by the local active groups. On Friday the 28th of October, People and Planet and Sheffield clowns came out to play, to let the workers and consumers of Starbucks know what they are supporting in their employment and purchases. Factual flyers were handed out to passers by, with information about:
-Starbucks' predatory tactics on small businesses
-their lack-lustre buying of Fair Trade coffee beans (1-2% globally),
-abuse of animal rights with the use of bovine growth hormone on cows
-creation of mass waste ( Starbucks produces more rubbish in the USA than the whole of New York city), yet are involved in projects such as Earth day.

The aim of the day was to unveil the 'ethical facade' that Starbucks has created in it's PR campaigns. Throughout the day people turned away from buying Starbucks after reading the flyer.
Free fair-trade coffee was given out to pedestrians, which proved a very popular element of the protest.
The clowns arrived at 1pm to build more Starbucks in the Starbucks because apparently there aren't enough Starbucks in the world and there should be more. Despite the clown's tickles, hugs and willingness to help in Starbucks construction, the police arrived and made them leave, only for them to go to the next shop around the corner. The police came again and threatened the painted faces with arrest for breach of the peace. Apparently feather dusters are dangerous these days!
Overall alot of people were made aware of ethical issues that are well hidden by Starbucks advertising and hopefully will support local businesses and Fair Trade outlets in the future.

Neo-Natal Wilfred aka Captain Planet


Hide the following 11 comments

Starbucks Expansion

04.11.2005 12:21

Map of Sheffield showing planned Starbucks development by 2010
Map of Sheffield showing planned Starbucks development by 2010

Great pics and nice banner. Starbucks isn't the only US corporate chain that has moved into Sheffield recently. Subway, a sandwich shop, was never seen in the UK until recently and now there are two or three here.


Come on clowns!

04.11.2005 18:58

I met lots of clowns up in Perth but I must say that the decision to all dress the same apart from the numbers on your shoulders makes you look like real clowns


Time To Name And Shame

04.11.2005 22:56

Can anyone name and theirfore shame the blonde women shown in the second photo caught red handed in $tarbuck$

She looks guilty to be their and the fact she is still sporting a Make Poverty History band shows she at least pretends to have a social conscience. Buy exploitative coffee and Indymedia will ruin your pretence to be right on !

R. Wade

the blonde beaut

05.11.2005 00:48

the blonde in question was giving the clowns stick for being in the starbucks because apparently it isn't the fault of the workers that the company they work for is evil. she was still sitting in there though. and yes wearing the infamous white band. not sure quite why she's still wearing it though because supposedly poverty was made history at the grand ol' march in Edinburgh... somebody should inform her of this. she also told the clowns that they should take it up with head office, perhaps she is wiser than she seems and the circus may go pay a visit some time soon.
anyone interested..find the clowns. they wear wigs and tickle things.

capt' planet

The white wristband

06.11.2005 11:32

MRH logo
MRH logo

White wristbands also signify the newer, more trendy Make Radio History too as well as the older, failed, Make Poverty History. By avoiding any kind of bland aims or statements at all this fresh campaign hopes to maximise participation by not offending anyone. People can participate without changing their lifestyles. They can wear the white wristbands with a clean conscience.

With Make Radio History there is no contradiction between wearing a white wristband or even an MRH T-shirt and consuming Starbucks or McDonalds or Catapillar or even British Aerospace.

If more campaigns took this approach they might get a lot more support from the public.

(But don't forget that the MPH white wristbands were manufactured in Chinese sweatshops anyway so shopping in Starbucks is entirely consistent with the Make Poverty History ethos.)

- Homepage:

Starbucks Clown Demontration Day...

22.12.2005 21:33

Just wanna say, i herd about that silly clown demontrations you all pulled off, i think its unfair that you try and undermind the staff who work at starbucks, has it ever entered your tiny little brains that they might be there just to earn cash to get through Uni life???? i guess not as your mommy and daddy proberbly pay for all your tuition, so as for supporting all the bad things you say Starbucks does, your full of dont have a clue.....

Another point id like to make is how do you know all these little independant coffee houses get all their coffee fairly traided, do you acompany them to buy the beans, and watch when they traid, "no i didnt think so". so why the hell do you stick up for these places when their business is nothing to do with you, it drives me nuts when people think its a crime to see small buisnesses overtaken by giant coffee companys, do you really care that much that you have to prance about on the streets dressed like clowns, excuse me if it supposed to be "cool" . Personnally i think most of these small little buisnesses are full of wannabe's who think that "devonshire Street" is a holy place, for the cool only, and most of these people have never done anything or been anywhere to know any difference,.....

So have fun at your next demonstration, hope your parents are prowd!


thankyou jane, you have made my day

08.01.2006 16:29

Hi there jane. I thought that with all the effort that you put into your eloquent and well thought out e-mail, you deserved a reply.

Firstly, your preconception of the people involved in the protest living off rich parents was rash and false. After a recent survey it was discovered that the majority of the protestors on the day work part-time jobs to fund their education. This apparently is a must for most students as a result of lack-lustre government funding...but that is another story...perhaps the clowns will go out again and dance around because crap state support for higher education is cool, or something like that, which you may believe.
this leads me to my next point when you say 'do you really care that much about big chains overtaking local shops'. the answer being yes. Instead of perhaps going into a starbucks to chat shit about celebrities and drink frapadapalapchinos in starbacks, for example, the people who took part in the day made time to make a protest about alot of serious issues. One of these being the way in which chains like starbucks come into a local community swamp the market by putting a shop on every street corner, which takes income away from the local shops which may have been there for years. can you not see how that it is a negative thing for the incomes of local people to be taken away and instead filtered through the economic systems to the heads of corporations? i hope you can and now understand why the clowns felt inclined to pick up their featherdusters and head to the streets.

in response to your comment about annoying the workers the point is this-- the people who work in starbucks do not directly reap the rewards of their 8 hour mundane shifts. they receive a measly £5 an hour. Starbucks is essentially manipulating the labour of the workers for their own ends. this was also a reason for protest- to push for workers to unionise so that fair working conditions and wages can be in place. in new york, for example, starbucks workers were unable to unionise, which reflects the ethics of the corporation- which is why the protestors were there in the first place.

i do not have enough room to go on and fingers are not as nimble as they used to be. other people have written books on such issues and shall explain better that I. I suggest that you read 'No logo' and 'The corporation'. If you dont like reading the coprporation is also a film and naomi klein has recenly brought a film out. Some of the issues for the protest will be explained in there. perhaps you shall come and join us some time.

finally, on the subject of the starbucks student employers; due to the nature of their employers they may wish to seek a job elsewhere. At our student's union we are lucky enough to have a job shop, i recently walked past and they are advertising jobs in the voluntary sector(still paid) such as working with kids who want to learn about further education. perhaps this would be more productive than serving homogenised coffee in a homogenised shop taking the custom of the local people and making a small minority very rich. don't you think??

jane, i hope you reply, i would very much like that.

lots of love


Reply to Wilfred/Neo

02.04.2006 16:12


Well here is my reply, better late than never..

Actually I happen to agree with what you say in your email responce but I just dont happen to care that much about what you seem to care about, I think its great that you support what you do in the way you choose to, however we are all intitled to our opinion, and at the time that was mine.
I commend you for being pasionate about what you believe in, however I find my self to be interested in other things more important to me and not the local shopkeepers!

Enjoy your next march, im sure there will be one soon, no doubt.



I am moved

12.06.2006 12:55

To go to Starbucks NOW in case you were interrested. Free market. Build a store of your own, buy more fair trade, sell coffee, and don't inject your cows then.
I like my coffee AVAILABLE.


What a load of rubbish

03.09.2006 00:08

Firstly i dont know where to start as a starbucks employee and a sheffield hallam student I find your comments quite biased, unfounded, unfactual and unreasoanable. I know for a fact people didnt not come into our store because you intimidated them. I am writting this after spending a very interesting 9 hours at work today and the fact that we took above average sales means that you stupid protest meant nothing I could go on and on and on but you'd try and attack me with your stupid duster and give me a flyer full of crap. Thank you for the time and space on your website


silly comment

16.07.2007 09:43

@up guy be quiet and dontswear you idiot