Coffee Strong is a GI coffeehouse based on the tradition of resistance coffee houses opened during the Vietnam war by antiwar veterans and active duty soldiers. Based in Lakewood, WA it was founded in 2008 by veterans returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is located within 300 meters of the gates at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. It is one of three currently active GI resistance coffee houses along with Under the Hood Café near Fort Hood in Texas & Off Base in Norfolk, Virginia. According to Coffee Strong board member Zoltan Grossman
The goal of the G.I. coffeehouse is to provide soldiers, their families and recent vets a place away from the base where they can learn about resources available to them, meet with G.I. rights counselors, and access alternative information. It holds weekly movie nights, and hosts speakers, hiphop, punk and folk concerts, and other events. The response from soldiers visiting the coffeehouse has so far been overwhelmingly positive.
The Coffee Strong advisory board includes linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky, Marjorie Cohn, Mike Ferner, Eva Golinger, Dahr Jamail, Antonia Juhasz, Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), and the late historian and author Howard Zinn. In 2011 filmmaker and professor of Folklore and English at the University of Oregon Lisa Gilman released the film Grounds for Resistance about Coffee Strong and featured interviews by some of its founders and reactions to it from Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers.
- Official website
- Seattle Times : Weekend Wrap
- Official website for the documentary film Grounds for Resistance by Lisa Gilman.
- Alternet : How One Coffee Shop in Washington State is Providing a Haven For War Resisters
- Coffee Strong: Listening to the G.I. Voice at Fort Lewis, by Zoltan Grossman.
- New era for coffeehouses rooted in anti-war tradition, in Army Times (3/7/10).