Eyes on Starbucks: Don’t Fund Tigray Genocide!

By the members of Horn Anarchists

Since November 2020, Ethiopian federal and allied military forces have carried out a genocidal campaign of political repression in the Tigray region. Indiscriminate bombings, mass executions, rape as a tool of war. Food supplies devastated adding starvation to the arsenal. Refugees are prevented from fleeing these horrors. Communications and outside aid have been cut off.

Tigrayan men holding a small portable radio trying to hear news, despite the information blackout.

Outside the region, Tigrayan people have faced escalating discrimination and violence due to their ethnicity. They have lost jobs and had passports canceled. Social media is filled with a cocktail of propaganda standard for modern genocidal regimes: open government hate propaganda mixes cleanly with legions of unquestioning supporters and puppet account networks.

Responding to calls from Tigrayans and other groups facing violent repression from the Ethiopian state, a decentralized, global effort is underway to stop this genocidal conflict. This means building real solidarity, beyond borders and nations.

We must also dismantle the Ethiopian state’s ability to wage this war. One way is to cut into the state’s biggest source of direct funding and foreign currency revenue: coffee. A major buyer around the globe is Starbucks. The corporation regularly engages in direct negotiations with the Ethiopian state, whose direct control of trademark licensing and access to markets puts millions into the government’s coffers. Those in solidarity around the world must take action to cut off this flow while the genocide continues.

A History of Empire

Tigrayan people are not the first to face intense repression within Ethiopia’s empire. The borders of modern Ethiopia are home to dozens of indigenous groups. The formation of central states over thousands of years has brought conflict as the Empires dominant groups have sought to impose their culture more widely. The Ethiopian Empire which resisted most European colonial encroachment in the 19th and 20th century was itself dominated by an ethnic Amharic elite.

The last Emperor Haile Selassie oversaw sometimes brutal attempts to forge an Ethiopian nationalism based on Amharic culture. When he was overthrown in the 1970s, these policies continued and reached new horrors under the following Marxist-Leninist military Derg government.

Derg government officials in military uniforms.

National Liberation oriented parties and military organizations based in Tigray, Eritrea, Oromia and other regions united to overthrew the Derg by 1991 and established a system of “ethnic federalism.”

Nine states were established on the basis of ethnic self-determination. But a degree of greater equality between ethnic groups did not end ethnic conflict. The inability to represent the messy and overlapping geography of various groups, as well as the numerous groups too small to receive their own region, provided fuel for further conflict. Ethnic conflict became intimately intertwined with political disputes.

The Oromo, the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, have faced systemic discrimination for decades. An Oromo-based party central to overthrowing the Derg was pushed out of the new governing coalition early on. Despite some new autonomy within the ethnic federalist system, discrimination remains widespread, and massive protests have been met with violent reprisals as recently as last year. Many politicized Oromo are today advocate ending the Ethiopian Empire altogether.

Oromo woman in beaded traditional attire.

Recently, a new governing coalition was formed when the largest Tigrayan party (TPLF) exited the government. The rest of the former coalition merged to form the new Prosperity Party under Abiy Ahmed. The present government seeks to dismantle “ethnic federalism” in favor of a centralized state promoting a unified “Ethiopian” identity. Powerful ethnic-based political parties are a significant obstacle to this goal. To secure victory in its political agenda, Abiy’s government has made all Tigrayan people synonymous with the TPLF political party in the view of the country’s mass media and war machine, launching an all-out struggle against both.

Abiy’s construction of a nationalist base at home has been complimented by his efforts to secure support abroad. In a piece of bitter irony, he was given the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing a decades long conflict with the totalitarian government of neighboring Eritrea to an end. Violent struggle had simmered since Eritrea’s secession from Ethiopia following the collapse of the Derg. The presence of Eritrean political refugees in Tigray and ongoing resentment over the previous war made Abiy’s peace partners an ideal collaborator in genocide. Eritrean ground forces have been responsible for some of the most horrific massacres, plundering, and destruction of the countryside.

Coffee Grows Empire

Any present-day empire building project in Ethiopia needs a fervent nationalist base. Yet in the modern global system, Ethiopia’s empire is but a small and sometimes exploited player. Projecting  necessitates extensive foreign capital and support. Drones bombing civilian towns, bullets digging mass graves, media infrastructure to justify it all. This requires cash.

Some of this may come in the form of foreign aid, or the loans neocolonial institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are currently trying to approve. For the Ethiopian state, though, much of their  cash comes from commodity export. King of Ethiopia’s exports is a crop it originated: coffee. A billion US dollars, 30% of the country’s total exports, sent to eighty countries around the world. 

The central state has a heavy, lucrative hand in the trade. It manages commodity exchange markets. It carries out direct diplomacy and negotiations with major buyers. The Ethiopian state even holds several international trademarks on the names of notable Ethiopian coffee. Companies selling specialty coffee using these names must pay the government a licensing fee.

Securing this funding pipeline is vital to the Ethiopian state’s functioning.

Take Action

Campaigners against the ongoing genocide in Tigray have called for a boycott of Ethiopian coffee in order to cut into Abiy Ahmed’s war chest. Among the largest and most visible buyers globally is Starbucks. The company purchases tens of millions USD of Ethiopian coffee annually, only a fraction of which makes it directly to farmers. During an ongoing genocide, this money fuels death.

We are calling for a global action against Starbucks to demand they cease purchase of Ethiopian coffee while the military occupation of Tigray continues.

We encourage solidarity in the form of a diversity of tactics from comrades around the world.

What can you do to spread the message about stopping the genocide in Tigray and take direct action against Starbucks?

  • Get a few friends to do some flyering, wheatpasting, graffiti, and/or banner drops.
  • Hold picket lines of stores, perhaps collaborating with workers.
  • Can you organize a large march locally, or small autonomous action against a Starbucks store at night.
  • Is your city home to an Ethiopian or Eritrean embassy or consulate? Consider whether you might include it in your action.

If you live in one of many areas around the world with Tigray, Oromo, and other diaspora communities, please reach out. Many major cities have a local community center and have been holding their own protests against the current government’s actions. Look for these events, often on social media, and join in solidarity.


Visit @HornAnarchists (https://twitter.com/HornAnarchists) on twitter or check out the social media hashtag #TigrayGenocide (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tigraygenocide) for further updates.

An Ethiopian Anarchist Perspective on Tigray (https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2021/03/14/an-ethiopian-anarchist-perspective-on-the-warin-tigray/)

Omna Tigray (https://omnatigray.org/)
Ethiopia Map (https://twitter.com/mapethiopia)
Deforestation crisis: https://bit.ly/3sDs39N
Tigray is Being Deliberately Starved
Health facilities targeted in Tigray region, Ethiopia https://bit.ly/3sFJUgq

Interview with ULET-AIT: « It repairs the heart to read a message from other lands while every night we are counting our deads. »

The Libertarian Students and Workers Union (ULET, Unión Libertaria Estudiantil y del Trabajo) is a trade union organization and therefore openly public. Its first objective is the defense of its affiliates; the rights of workers and students; and the freedom of the people. (https://www.facebook.com/ULETsindical)

It is organized under the anarcho-syndicalist principles : anarchism as its base and means, and libertarian communism as it goals. Their tools of struggle are mutual support, assembly, federalism, self-management, horizontality, and direct action.

The ULET – AIT is made up of people of different shapes, colors, nationalities, thoughts, behaviors, and tastes, who are grouped under the same principles and are organized to defend their rights, fight for a free world, united by solidarity and towards a social and economical self-managed.society of free people. It is a member of the International Workers Association (AIT – IWA).

The first mobilizations in Colombian began on April 28, demanded the elimination of the Sustainable Solidarity Law project. What does this Law consist of and why has it been the trigger for massive protests?

This law is only the way they have called the new tax reform that they want to apply to the Colombian people. This included many taxes for independent workers [many people, especially the poors, don’t have formal work so are working as « independent »], the products of the family basket were taxed with up to 19% VAT (Value Added Tax) [while it is 0 to 5% currently] and it was proposed to increase the priceof infant milk formula for babies under six months of age, something totally inhumane in a country where children are starving. In addition to the increase in the price of food, the price of fuel and even funeral services’ price increased. Precarious living conditions were further threatened by the law promoted by the ruling party. This, together with job insecurity and inequality are the trigger for what is currently being experienced in Colombia, an atmosphere of rebellion and protest.

The origin of the protest was overcome from the first moment, adding from the demand for the end of femicide, the opposition of mega-mining or fracking projects, respect for indigenous peoples or student demands. What are the demands that the movement upholdss ?

It is asked to overturn the health reform (which today, May 22, was already filed). One of the main demands is the reform of the police force, since it has a long record of human rights violations that range from arbitrary detentions, to rapes, disappearances and murders.

Indigenous peoples ask that their territory and traditions be respected, as well as health services since they have been badly hit by the current pandemic On the other hand, there is a general demand for decent working conditions: in Colombia, a Senator earns more than 30 times the minimum wage earned by a worker.

Another big problem is the agriculture sector, the signing of Free Trade Agreements with various countries has led to the importation of many food products, generating a crisis in the peasant sector. Therefore, this union asks for better ways to get its products and the elimination of these import dynamics.

One of the demands is the resignation of right-wing Iván Duque. Is this rejection of the government being capitalized on by the opposition of Gustavo Petro? Or are the protests far from political parties?

The protests respond to popular clamor and collective instinct and are not subject to political parties that have seen in this process an opportunity to proselytize.

We see images and read stories of uprising neighborhoods, with a high level of mobilization and in which the police forces have even been expelled. How are these places being organized? Have new structures been created that allow neighborhood self-organization or did they already exist before?

The neighborhoods are organized through the various political groups found in the territories and these in turn allow articulation with the residents of the neighborhoods. The spaces have a community pot, artistic groups and front-line groups ready to clash with the police. These spaces are maintained with the solidarity of those who inhabit them and are the product of political and protest processes generated over the years.

Protests in Cali

In places like Cali, we have been able to see indigenous peoples flocking to the city to join the marches. What are your demands and how is your participation in the protests?

They participate with food, participation in the mobilization on security issues and with the dissemination of their knowledge since here in Colombia many people have great respect for the ancestral wisdom that these peoples possess. Indigenous people protest for their rights as native peoples and to keep their territory by expelling extractivist projects away.

In addition to this, they ask that they not be criminalized since they are often labeled as guerrillas, terrorists or drug traffickers.

Other demands are health and access roads.

Although the protests have a very broad ideological framework, we see a strong participation of anarchist groups. What role is anarchism having in the mobilizations?

Since the inhabitants of a neighborhood or territory decide to organize themselves without depending on any political party, they are acting under the anarchist philosophy and the participation of groups related to said proposal is given way.

Participation consists of joining hands to carry out organizational activities, manage mobilizations and maintain the horizontality of the spaces.

The Colombian security forces have a long history of repression and violation of human rights. How is the government’s repression being?

The government’s repression consists of sending riot police forces and the repression is physical and psychological. In a demonstration, people can be injured due to loss of eyes, sexual abuse, disappearance and murder. In many protest sites, they have opted to cut off the power service, leaving the streets without electricity and starting to shoot firearms at the protesters.

Another strategy is to pass in private vehicles without any distinction from the police and assassinate protesters, they have even become accomplices of inhabitants of upper-class neighborhoods who go out to shoot at the protesters

We read countless reports of sexual abuse and violence against women. Is it a common practice among security forces?

Yes, it is a common practice among the armed forces of the State. They have been doing the same for many years, in addition to rapes and femicides, cases of physical abuse against women have been reported in the families of the men who make up the ranks of these institutions.

Despite all this, they enjoy impunity.

Demonstrations and other displays of international solidarity are taking place from outside Colombia. Does this news reach you? What can we do from abroad to support your fight?

The news reaches us and they have filled us with strength, we are grateful that they feel our pain and our rebellion. We have received great support from South American countries and Europe, especially in Spain. We invite you to continue with the boycot, to spread our complaints.

It repairs he heart to read a message from other lands while each night we are counting our deads . Share and spread


In Portuguese: https://www.acat-ait.org/2021/06/02/entrevista-com-a-ulet-ait/

En français http://cnt-ait.info/2021/05/31/ulet-ait/

L’oeil sur Starbucks: ne financez pas le génocide au Tigré !

par des Anarchistes de la Corne de l’Afrique

Depuis novembre, les forces militaires fédérales éthiopiennes et celles de leurs alliées [de la république d’Erythrée, dictature nationaliste marxiste] ont mené une campagne génocidaire de répression politique dans la région du Tigré. Bombardements aveugles, exécutions massives, viols généralisés sont utilisés comme outils de guerre. Les stocks alimentaire ont été dévastés, de façon à ajouter la famine à l’arsenal des armes de guerre. Les réfugiés sont empêchés de fuir ces horreurs. Les communications et l’aide extérieure ont été coupées.

Un fermier tigréen tenant une petite radio portable essayant d’entendre des nouvelles, malgré le black-out de l’information.

En dehors de la région, les Tigréens sont confrontés à une escalade de la discrimination et de la violence en raison de leur appartenance ethnique. Ils ont perdu leur emploi et leurs passeports ont été annulés. Les médias sociaux sont remplis de propagandes typique des régimes génocidaires modernes. A la propagande ouvertement haineuse du gouvernement se rajoutent des légions de leurs partisans inconditionnels et des myriades de comptes fantoches sur les réseaux sociaux.

En réponse aux appels des Tigréens et d’autres groupes ethniques confrontés à une violente répression de la part de l’État éthiopien, un effort mondial décentralisé est en cours pour mettre fin à ce conflit génocidaire. Cela signifie construire une véritable solidarité, au-delà des frontières et des nations.

Nous devons également démanteler la capacité de l’État éthiopien à mener cette guerre. L’un des moyens consiste à réduire la plus grande source de financement direct et de recettes en devises de l’État: le café. Starbucks est l’un des principaux acheteurs du monde entier. La société mène régulièrement des négociations directes avec l’État éthiopien, dont le contrôle direct des licences de marques et de l’accès aux marchés met des millions dans les coffres du gouvernement. Les solidaires du monde entier doivent prendre des mesures pour interrompre ce flux alors que le génocide se poursuit.


Le peuple tigréen n’est pas le premier à faire face à une répression intense au sein de l’empire éthiopien. Les frontières de l’Éthiopie moderne abritent des dizaines de groupes autochtones. La formation d’États centraux pendant des milliers d’années a provoqué des conflits, les groupes dominants de l’Empire cherchant à imposer leur culture plus largement. L’Empire éthiopien qui a résisté à la plupart des empiétements coloniaux européens aux XIXe et XXe siècles était lui-même dominé par une élite ethnique amharique.

Le dernier empereur Haile Selassie a supervisé des tentatives parfois brutales de forger un nationalisme éthiopien basé sur la culture amharique. Lorsqu’il a été renversé dans les années 1970, ces politiques ont continué et ont atteint de nouvelles horreurs sous le gouvernement militaire marxiste-léniniste du Derg.

Des officiels du DERG en uniforme militaire

Les partis orientés vers la libération nationale et les organisations militaires basées au Tigray, en Érythrée, en Oromia et dans d’autres régions se sont unis pour renverser le Derg en 1991 et ont établi un système de «fédéralisme ethnique».

Neuf États ont été créés sur la base de l’autodétermination ethnique. Mais une plus grande égalité entre les groupes ethniques n’a pas mis fin aux conflits ethniques. L’incapacité de représenter la géographie désordonnée et chevauchante de divers groupes, ainsi que les nombreux groupes trop petits pour recevoir leur propre région, a alimenté de nouveaux conflits. Les conflits ethniques sont devenus intimement liés aux conflits politiques.

Les Oromo, le plus grand groupe ethnique d’Éthiopie, sont confrontés à une discrimination systémique depuis des décennies. Un parti basé dans la province d’Oromo, qui était essentiel pour renverser le Derg, a été expulsé de la nouvelle coalition gouvernementale dès le début. Malgré une nouvelle autonomie au sein du système fédéraliste ethnique, la discrimination reste répandue et des protestations massives ont fait l’objet de violentes représailles aussi récemment que l’année dernière. De nombreux Oromo politisés plaident aujourd’hui pour la fin de l’empire éthiopien.

Femme en habit traditionnel Oromo

Récemment, une nouvelle coalition gouvernementale a été formée lorsque le plus grand parti tigréen (TPLF) a quitté le gouvernement. Le reste de l’ancienne coalition a fusionné pour former le nouveau Parti de la prospérité, dirigé par le premier ministre Abiy Ahmed. Le gouvernement actuel cherche à démanteler le «fédéralisme ethnique» en faveur d’un État centralisé promouvant une identité «éthiopienne» unifiée. Les puissants partis politiques ethniques constituent un obstacle majeur à cet objectif. Pour assurer la victoire dans son programme politique, le gouvernement d’Abiy a fait de tout le peuple tigréen synonyme du parti politique TPLF aux yeux des médias de masse et de la machine de guerre du pays, lançant une lutte totale contre les deux.

La construction par Abiy d’une base nationaliste dans son pays a été complétée par ses efforts pour obtenir un soutien à l’étranger. Dans une ironie amère, il a reçu le prix Nobel de la paix en 2019 pour avoir mis fin à un conflit de plusieurs décennies avec le gouvernement totalitaire de l’Érythrée voisine. Une lutte violente a mijoté depuis la sécession de l’Érythrée de l’Éthiopie après l’effondrement du Derg. La présence de réfugiés politiques érythréens dans le Tigré et le ressentiment constant suscité par la guerre précédente ont fait des partenaires pacifistes d’Abiy un collaborateur idéal dans le génocide. Les forces terrestres érythréennes ont été responsables de certains des massacres, pillages et destructions les plus horribles de la campagne.


Aujourd’hui le projet de construction d’un empire en Éthiopie a besoin d’une base nationaliste fervente. Pourtant, dans le système globalisé moderne, l’empire éthiopien n’est qu’un petit acteur – – et parfois exploité par de plus gros. Le développement de ce projet impérial nécessite des capitaux et un soutien étrangers importants. Envoyer des drones bombarder des villes civiles, remplir des fosses communes par des assassinats par balle, développer des infrastructures médiatiques pour tout justifier. Cela nécessite de l’argent. Beaucoup d’argent.

Une partie de cet argent peut prendre la forme d’une aide étrangère ou des prêts que des institutions néocoloniales comme la Banque mondiale et le Fonds monétaire international tentent actuellement d’approuver. Mais l’essentiel des revenus de l’État éthiopien, provient de l’exportation de produits agricoles. Le produit roi des exportations d’Ethiopie, est le café. Un milliard de dollars américains, 30% des exportations totales du pays, envoyé dans quatre-vingts pays à travers le monde.

L’Etat central a une main lourde et lucrative dans le commerce. Il gère les marchés d’échanges. Il mène une diplomatie directe et des négociations avec les principaux acheteurs. L’État éthiopien détient même plusieurs marques internationales des noms des cafés éthiopiens les plus réputés. Les entreprises qui vendent du café de spécialité sous ces noms doivent payer au gouvernement des frais de licence.

La sécurisation de cette véritable machine à cash  est vitale pour le fonctionnement de l’État éthiopien.


Les militants contre le génocide en cours au Tigré ont appelé au boycott du café éthiopien afin de couper dans le trésor de guerre d’Abiy Ahmed. Starbucks est l’un des acheteurs les plus importants et les plus visibles au monde. L’entreprise achète chaque année des dizaines de millions de dollars de café éthiopien, somme dont les agriculteurs ne voient que des miettes. Pendant que le génocide est en cours, cet argent alimente la mort.

Nous appelons à une action globale contre Starbucks pour exiger qu’ils cessent d’acheter du café éthiopien pendant que l’occupation militaire du Tigré se poursuit.

Nous encourageons la solidarité sous la forme d’une diversité de tactiques de camarades du monde entier.

Que pouvez-vous faire pour diffuser le message sur l’arrêt du génocide au Tigray et prendre des mesures directes contre Starbucks?

  • Demandez à vos amis de faire passer l’information autour d’eux, sous forme de flyers, de bannières, etc ….
  • Organisez des piquets de boyott devant les magasins, en invitant les travailleurs exploités et sous-payés par Starbuck à se joindre au mouvement,.
  • Envoyez des messages de protestation aux ambassades et consulats d’Éthiopie ou d’Érythrée.

Si vous vivez dans l’une des nombreuses régions du monde avec des communautés de la diaspora,  Tigré, Oromo ou autre, rejoignez les centres communautaires locaux, participez à leurs évènements et manifestations contre les actions du gouvernement actuel.


Visitez @HornAnarchists (https://twitter.com/HornAnarchists) sur Twitter ou consultez le hashtag des médias sociaux #TigrayGenocide (https://twitter.com/search?q=%23tigraygenocide) pour plus d’informations.

Omna Tigray (https://omnatigray.org/)

Carte de l’Éthiopie (https://twitter.com/mapethiopia)

Crise de la déforestation: https://bit.ly/3sDs39N T

le Tigré est délibérément affamé(world politics review)  : https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/29548/in-the-tigray-war-weaponized-starvation-

Éthiopie : le double jeu de la France

24 juin 2021 Par Justine Brabant

Officiellement, la France est préoccupée par la situation au Tigré, région du nord de l’Éthiopie, où l’armée et ses alliés, tout comme leurs adversaires, sont accusés de crimes de guerre. Officieusement, cela ne l’empêche pas de continuer de développer ses liens diplomatiques et militaires avec Addis-Abeba.

La France a délivré en 2020 deux licences autorisant l’exportation de matériel militaire vers l’Éthiopie. Elles concernent 52 millions d’euros de matériel de catégorie ML10 (aéronefs, drones ou composants) et 7 millions d’euros de categ. ML21 (logiciels).