Starbucks Is Target of Firebombing

May 10, 2004

By George Anderson

A Starbucks scheduled to open in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood of Portland had windows broken and a Molotov cocktail thrown at it last week.

The store has been at the center of protests by residents who fear the entry of a corporate giant such as Starbucks would lead to the demise of local businesses.

Steve Hanrahan, who owns a kitchen-and-supplies store across from the new Starbucks told the Oregonian, “I haven’t had a single person come in here talking about the Starbucks
and say they’re glad,” he said. “Most of the people want a locally owned business in the neighborhood.”

Michelle Cain, a district manager for Starbucks, painted a different picture. “The community response to our opening has been tremendous,” she said. According to Ms. Cain, the
store has received flowers, food and gifts from well-wishers in the community.

Linda Nettekoven, a member of the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Development Association, said opposition to the Starbucks is widespread throughout the community. The neighborhood,
she told the Associated Press, does not condone “violence and intimidation” as a means to achieve its goals.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on the events in Portland?

We were frankly shocked to hear the incident in Portland being referred to as an act of vandalism in media reports.

Has the distinction between vandalism and terrorism become a question of body count?

Although the developer of the Starbucks’ project said the attempt was “lame,” a thrown Molotov cocktail still carries with it the potential for deadly consequences.
This case should be treated by local, state and federal authorities as a terrorist act and nothing less.

George Anderson – Moderator

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