Wake Up and Smell the Protest

Roast Starbucks! For the trendy coffee retailer, a public-relations nightmare was brewing last week, courtesy of the caffeinated mix of labor activists, consumer groups and environmentalists that brought us Seattle's WTO protests. Campuses were mobilized, press kits mailed, and protests planned in 29 cities. An open letter to Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz was signed by the likes of Friends of the Earth, the Cincinnati Zapatista Coalition and San Francisco's Harvey Milk Democratic Club. "The farmers who make you rich earn poverty wages," the letter said. "Sweatshops occur not only in the factory but also in the field."

But just in time...

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