Members of the IWW picketed a Starbucks in Edinburgh yesterday. A short report of the picket follows.
IWW Informational Picket in Edinburgh
Just a quick report on our Informational picket at Starbucks in Edinburgh yesterday (Saturday 19th).
We (4 wobs, two supporters) chose our usual target - the High Street branch on the top of the Royal Mile.
The area was teeming with people as it's mid-Festival.
We arrived at 11.00am and went in to speak with Baristas first, in order to explain what we were doing and to offer solidarity. Some Baristas were positive, some negative "We don't need a union". Whilst a manager was informing us that we weren't allowed to do this and none of his staff were interested anyway, a Barista came up and asked for a bundle of leaflets for his co-workers, despite veiled threats from the manager!
We started leafleting outside and very soon the police arrived. They threatened one wobbly with arrest (for what, we can't figure) if they didn't give their name and address but otherwise said we could continue as long as we didn't obstruct the entrance or harass anyone...
So, between 11.00 and about 14.30 we held our placards, handed out hundreds of leaflets and explained to folks why we were there and why they should show solidarity by not drinking in Starbucks today. I have to say the response was overall very positive and we turned back dozens of would-be coffee drinkers! Many people, seeing our placards, came over to get a leaflet, offer support and chat. We had many humerous incidents, notably when a whole African- American marching band turned back after talking to us. One of them asked if this was legal in "England" because we "would get our butts kicked" in the US if we tried this.
One other high point was a Barista from another Starbucks came up and enthusiastically asked for a bundle of leaflets to distribute at his store.
So, we felt it was a very worthwhile action.
Thanks are due to the support we had from members of the Edinburgh Chiapas Solidarity group and the SolFed- IWA.