Volume 76, Number 38 | February 14 -20, 2007

Villager photo by Robert Kreizel

Coffee conflict boils over

Reverend Billy and his supporters brewed up another protest at the Astor Pl. Starbucks on Sunday, and for the second weekend in a row he was arrested there. Reverend Billy — real name Bill Talen — is demanding the coffee giant sign a licensing agreement with the Ethiopian coffee industry. “We are here because of the Ethiopian farmers and Starbucks’ abuse of the copyright law,” said Stop Shopping organizer and director Savitri Durkee, Talen’s wife. “They are holding Ethiopia’s trademarks hostage and it’s costing almost a 100 million dollars to the Ethiopian government.” Prevented from entering the premises by police from the Manhattan South Task Force, Reverend Billy performed an exterior exorcism at the store’s entrance before getting arrested, above.

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