Thursday, August 09, 2007

Chinese People Kick STARBUCKS Out of the Forbidden City/SF Richmond District Activists Oppose STARBUCKS in our Community
Photograph: Stephen Shaver/EPA

A few weeks ago Chinese activists forced STARBUCKS out of China's Forbidden City in Beijing.

For months journalists and activists waged a campaign that generated 500,000 people urging the closure of the STARBUCKS which had operated for 7 years in one of China's most historical landmarks. The BBC reported:

Starbucks, which has nearly 200 outlets in China, opened the Forbidden City shop seven years ago and removed its brand sign two years ago to address cultural sensitivities.
But the shop continued to draw protests. China state TV personality Rui Chenggang led the online campaign, saying the shop's presence "undermined the solemnity of the Forbidden City and trampled on Chinese culture".
I am part of a growing grassroots campaign in San Francisco's Richmond District, sometimes called the City's "new Chinatown," to support our independently owned coffee houses and cafes and prevent STARBUCKs and other "formula retailers" from ruining the unique, diverse, and ethnic character of our neighborhood.
We have generated over 3000 signatures in support and are mobilizing support in our community and at the Board of Supervisors to overturn the City's Planning Commission's June decision to grant a permit for a new STARBUCKs in our neighborhood. More info.

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