Oakland Coffee Shop Fires Employees Amid Antisemitism Accusations

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Dec 14, 2023 - 10:00 PM

Authored by Micaela Ricaforte via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A coffee shop in Oakland, California, fired several employees for denying a Jewish woman access to its restroom after she complained it had been tagged with antisemitic graffiti.

Farley's East Cafe in Oakland, Calif., in January 2023. (Google Maps/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Farley’s coffee shop last week became the center of a controversy after a video surfaced on social media showing several employees blocking a woman from using the restroom.

In the video, the woman states that she wants to take a video of antisemitic graffiti in the restroom.

At the end of the video, the employees let the woman into the restroom, and the woman held up the camera to show that the words “zionism = fascism” were written on the restroom’s mirror.

Additionally, the words “your neutrality/apathy is enabling genocide” as well as “free Palestine” were written on another wall.

History didn’t start in 1948, lady,” one employee says after the woman was finally able to enter the restroom.

The owners of the coffee shop issued a statement on Instagram Dec. 7 saying the employees involved in the incident are “no longer employed at Farley’s.”

"Events like these strike fear in the Jewish community and perpetuate the rise of anti-Semitism in our community and around the world," the statement said. "We do not tolerate any behavior at Farley’s that makes people feel unwelcome or unsafe."

In the statement, the owners said they honor the varying viewpoints of their employees, they are not entitled to express themselves on the job in ways that are disrespectful or hurtful to others.

There is zero room in our business – or anywhere in our community – for speech or conduct that acts to ‘other’ anyone based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality, skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other discriminatory basis,” they said.

Several former and current employees of Farley’s formed a group on social media and published a Dec. 11 statement in response to the incident.

The group said that before the woman started filming, she “repeatedly yelled at and harassed staff about the graffiti,” and was asked to leave after “escalating the situation,” but refused.

The statement also said the shop’s co-owner, Chris Hillyard, was aware of the graffiti for two months before the incident.

“Chris Hillyard did not take action until after the release of the video,” the statement said. “He did not address or support any of the Farley’s staff who were and continue to be subjected to aggressive harassment and doxxing. The harassment campaign has impacted the staff in the video and their families, the ownership of the cafe, and now, any staff member visible on Farley’s Facebook account.”

Since the incident, three more Farley’s employees have resigned, according to the statement.