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Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign and police at Starbucks, 21 October 2006

hewitt | 22.10.2006 11:52 | Repression | Birmingham

On Saturday 21 October 2006 around a dozen people attended a vigil outside
Starbucks coffee shop in New Street, called by Birmingham Guantanamo
Campaign to draw attention to the fact that Starbucks also has a shop
at Guantanamo.

Starbucks, New Street, Birmingham, 21 Oct 2006
Starbucks, New Street, Birmingham, 21 Oct 2006

Police attending Starbucks. Photo approx 13:35 BST
Police attending Starbucks. Photo approx 13:35 BST

The Campaign also set up a table opposite and collected signatures for
their petition to Birmingham City Council for a resolution about the
British residents still imprisoned there.

Police attended purportedly because of an allegation that someone had
been obstructing customers trying to enter the shop. Arriving not long
after the scheduled start time of 1pm, I saw no evidence of obstruction.
And I observed no police interest in establishing the facts or identifying
the supposed culprit(s). Neither did I hear anyone asserting that they
had been obstructed. In fact, the only person with a complaint seemed
to be the manager of Starbucks who stood outside saying that the vigil
was not "nice".

In the photo, two of the three women in fluorescent jackets are so-called
"community support officers" and the third was a police woman. The large
police van contained some male officers. At one point there were around
4 police officers and two so-called "community support officers" present.

One male officer, wearing padded body armour, threatened to arrest a woman
for asking him questions. "Now if you carry on questioning me like this
I will shift you all right? and I will arrest you to prevent a breach of
the peace." When she asked him his name and number he indicated something
on his chest. "What?" she said and then something that sounded like
"awet?" - presumably the only letters visible. There was no number and
when someone else took up this question he replied "mine's 7852 you got
a problem?", with the manner of a football hooligan spoiling for a fight.

Later, asked about why they had come one officer said: ..."all that came
over the phone was that there was somebody that were impeding customers
going into the shop that's the only reason why we've come here. As you
say I mean we live in a democracy" (In fact the questioner had said no
such thing) "you want to protest but just be careful"...



Contact Starbucks

22.10.2006 13:35

Here are the contact details for Starbucks:

The e-mail address shown there is:

Why not contact them and ask when they will be closing down their outlet at Guantanamo Bay.

If they continue to keep it open then they are supporting imprisonment without trial and torture.



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  1. Contacting Starbucks — BGC