Starbucks stores vandalized


Associated Press

SEATTLE – Vandals attacked nine Starbucks Coffee Co. stores, putting the city on edge as it prepared for the anniversary todayt of last year’s riotous World Trade Organization protests.

The stores, among dozens throughout the city, sustained minor damage late Tuesday or early Wednesday – broken windows, glue in locks and walls spray-painted with an encircled “A,” a graffiti tag used by anarchists during WTO demonstrations last year.

There was no evidence linking the vandalism to protesters, police said.

Starbucks will be taking extra security measures, Dave Owen, a senior vice president at the Seattle-based chain, said in a written statement. A spokesman refused to elaborate.

Meanwhile, Mayor Paul Schell urged television news stations to broadcast as little of last year’s events as possible.

“We believe the constant repetition of those images simply builds up any tension that might arise this year,” said Schell’s spokesman, Dick Lilly.

Authorities have been anxious to avoid a repeat of last year, when 50,000 protesters crammed downtown and shut down some sessions of the WTO session. The WTO, a trade alliance of about 140 countries, has become a target for a wide range of activists who believe it represents corporate globalization and short shrift for the environment and workers.

Overwhelmed Seattle police responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets and closing off much of downtown. The ensuing riots resulted in 600 arrests, $3 million in property damage, numerous civil-rights lawsuits and the police chief’s sudden early retirement.

By all accounts, this year’s protests on Nov. 30, “N30” in protester parlance, will be smaller because there won’t be any world trade conference to disrupt.

Generous estimates predict as many as 5,000 demonstrators, many of whom said they plan to converge on Westlake Park downtown. Police have asked them not to protest there because they may disrupt shoppers and another scheduled event.

Lilly said there was no way to tell whether the Starbucks vandalism was an indication of things to come.

“It’s disturbing there were anarchist symbols,” he said.

Jean Buskin, a 52-year-old Seattle biochemist coordinating anniversary protests, said the vandalism was a shame because Starbucks has been receptive to activists’ arguments and now offers certified fair-trade coffee.

Buskin said she expected no violence today.

The mayor’s spokesman said people should be wary of protesters who goad police in attempting to draw attention to their cause.

“In order to prove government is bad, it’s not a bad idea to be attacked by government or by police,” Lilly said.

While demonstrators are expected to come from near and far, several organizations have decided to sit this one out. Among them are members of the Machinists union at Boeing, who turned out by the thousands with their families last year. Machinists spokesman Tim Flynn said the workers still want fair, environmentally responsible trade, but have their differences with some of the protest groups.

“Boeing exports planes all over the world. The Machinists are very trade-dependent, so there’s a bit of a nuance there that’s different from the other parties involved,” Flynn said.

Some environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Seattle Audubon Society and the Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, are also staying away. They say they weren’t getting anywhere with the WTO.

Helen Ross, conservation coordinator for Seattle Audubon, said her group is focusing instead on working with individual companies to persuade them to offer environmentally friendly goods.

“WTO is certainly still a threat to conservation efforts,” Ross said. “But our focus has shifted because a lot of their discussions have stalled.”


Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

Granite Falls
Man, 35, dies from heart attack while hiking Lake 22

The man suffered a heart attack about 1½ miles into the 6-mile hike east of Granite Falls on Friday, authorities said.

36 hours after final show, Everett radio host Charlye Parker, 80, dies

When Parker got into radio, she was a rarity: a woman in a DJ booth. For the past 12 years, she hosted weekend country music shows at KXA.

Dr. Scott Macfee and Dr. Daniel Goodman outside of the Community Health Center on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett CHC doctors, feeling like ‘commodities,’ speak up on ailing system

At the Community Health Center of Snohomish County, doctors say they feel like “rats getting off a sinking ship.” They want it to get better.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Man charged with shooting at ex-girlfriend, child in Mountlake Terrace

The man, 21, showed up to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and opened fire through the door, new court records say.

People walk along Olympic Avenue past Lifeway Cafe and Olympic Theater that currently hosts Lifeway Church on Friday, July 7, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington churches waged covert ‘battle’ against Pride event, records show

Sermons, emails and interviews reveal how an LGBTQ+ nonprofit became the target of a covert campaign by local evangelical leaders.

Drive-in movies are coming to the north Island. (Port of Everett image)
Where to catch outdoor movies this summer in Snohomish County

Bring a chair, blanket and the kids for a cinema night under the stars with your favorite movies, including “Barbie” and “Trolls.”

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.