Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $

After White Police Officers Shoot and Kill An African-American Man in Seattle, Communityactivists Adopt a New Tactic: Pressuring Powerful Corporations Like Starbucks to Take a Stand Againstpolice Brut

June 21, 2001

On May 31, white police officers once again shot and killed an African-American man. Two police officers stoppedAaron Roberts, 37, on a traffic violation. Roberts attempted to drive away. By the time the altercation was over,police had fatally shot the unarmed man in the stomach. Aaron Roberts’ 17-year-old son happened to be nearby, andpushed through the police tape to be closer to his wounded father. Police restrained him and then arrested him.With his father dead, he spent the night in the juvenile detention center on charges of assault.

This didn’t happen in Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles or New York. This happened in Seattle, a city with anAfrican-American population of less than 10%, a city that residents say has been plagued by racism and policebrutality for years.

Community members have called for citizen boards of inquiry, and an end to racial profiling by the police. They haveheld protests and meetings with city council members.

But then some community leaders launched a campaign unheard of in police brutality cases: a boycott of theSeattle-based multinational coffee company, Starbucks.

Around 100 people congregated at the Central District’s Starbucks on June 13. The People’s Coalition for Justiceorganized the demonstration, and was joined by members of an engineers union taking issue with conditions at acoffee-bean roasting plant, and members of the Green Party.

We are joined on the telephone right now by Reverend Robert Jeffrey, the pastor at the Central District’s New HopeBaptist Church and one of the leaders of this unique coalition.


  • Reverend Robert Jeffrey, Pastor at New Hope Baptist Church, and with the People’s Economic Union (acoalition of groups to unify around).

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.