After protests in Philadelphia over the weekend, the movement to boycott Starbucks is going global.
Last Thursday, a Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called the local police because two black men were sitting inside the cafe without having ordered anything. The incident resulted in the two men being arrested, which drew an apology from Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson and protests outside the branch of Starbucks in question on Sunday. Now there is a call on Twitter to #BoycottStarbucks. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Were the Men Arrested?
The official reason was trespassing because they hadn’t ordered anything. But an eyewitness told NBC News that she had been sitting next to a white man who had been in the cafe for 30 minutes without making a purchase, and that a jogger had come into the store earlier to use the bathroom without making a purchase. She said the men had been sitting quietly and playing with their phones. It was later reported that the two men were real estate developers waiting to meet an investor.
Another eyewitness posted a video of the incident on Twitter:
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
What’s Happening Now?
Some Philadelphians thought Johnson’s apology was “too little, too latte,” as written on one protest sign, and met outside the Starbucks where the arrests took place to protest. Soon, people around the country and around the world were joining the call to #BoycottStarbucks and for the firing of the manager who called the police.
The Mayor’s Office, the Philadelphia Police, and Starbucks are all conducting separate investigations of the incident.
— David Leavitt (@David_Leavitt) April 14, 2018
In January, Starbucks’ Board of Directors unanimously called on shareholders to vote against the creation of annual reports on diversity + paid leave + sustainable packaging, but asked for massive increases in executive pay. Corporations are not our friends. #BoycottStarbucks
— Tyler Kissinger (@tylerbkissinger) April 16, 2018
I hope you see how @starbucks is treating black people @Starbucks_SA we will organise a full boycott of South African franchise in solidarity with the Afro American peoples struggle. #boycottstarbucks
— Fuckken: Ghost of stompie. (@Siyanda_Mbatha1) April 16, 2018
— WhatTheEff? (@WhatEvahUThink) April 15, 2018
Not Everyone Is Sure About #BoycottStarbucks