The Church of Stop Shopping

“The Church of Stop Shopping staged a series of actions across the country from 2002 to 2008, protesting against what they call Starbucks company’s enactment of “fake bohemia.” Reverend Billy and the singers tried to “exorcise the demon of cookie-cutter capitalism” from its cash registers, by laying hands on the register, weeping, and harmonizing.

The Starbucks coffee chain has been a frequent target of the Church’s actions, due to displacement of small local businesses, union busting, and exploitation of coffee farmers.

In 2002, Starbucks branches throughout New York City issued a document to its workers entitled “What Should I do If Reverend Billy Is in My Store?”, which outlines an evacuation protocol and a series of scripted reassurances that workers are ordered to deliver to disturbed or inquisitive customers. The title of the document is also the title of a book written by Talen, published by The New Press.”