Coffee Labs Roasters – Statement Following the September 12th Rally in Tarrytown
Given the highly politically-charged environment that exists currently, we at Coffee Labs Roasters find it necessary to address our customers and our community to clarify our position on recent events in Tarrytown.
On Saturday, September 12, a rally was held on Main Street in Tarrytown. This event was billed as a “Back the Blue,” rally, and with very little advance notice to businesses in the area, planned for a day and time that would potentially interrupt business on the street for a period of some hours during a Saturday afternoon.
It was our expectation and fear, that this attempt to show support for our heroic first responders, could potentially escalate into an unsafe environment. Fears founded in part on the scene at an earlier rally held at Patriot’s Park in June, at which large groups of rally attendees and counter-protesters squared off, separated by metal fencing, used to separate the groups.
As a business, we opposed the Main Street location for this rally as soon as we learned of its planning. We made our concerns known to town officials, including the strong recommendation that the rally be held in an alternate location, for the safety of the community, as well as to minimize disruption to the economically devastated businesses on Main Street, still reeling from the effects of the pandemic and lockdown.
Since the time of the rally, it has been suggested that we are anti-police. It has been suggested that we were opposed to the rally for political reasons, and many other inaccurate or patently false accusations have been made against our business. Countless negative reviews have been posted against our business, by people who have never entered our shop, people who have never tried our product, and people that aren’t even part of our community.
We are long-time supporters of our local police, we give regularly to the Police Benevolent Association, and to other first-responder related causes. We have supported causes in our community, regardless of the politics of the organizers, for over ten years.
We are fierce supporters of the first amendment, and people’s right to free speech. We strongly believe in accepting people of all races, ethnicities, political views, and sexual orientations.
Coffee houses have long been places to gather and exchange thoughts, share discourse with our community, usually and hopefully with mutual respect. Our record stands for itself. We support our town and ALL the people in it, even those people we may not agree with.
We absolutely support our local police department, and we recognize their important role in our community, any assertion to the contrary is a fiction. Simultaneously, we support the progressive reform of racist policies wherever they may exist, and an end to systemic racism.
We believe that our community is stronger than any one issue, and that the greatest obligation we owe to one another is respect and tolerance of the things that make us a diverse and vibrant community. We will not engage in spreading hatred, we advocate eagerly for the sharing of respect, understanding, coffee and love.