prosecutors allege two students set fires to try to prevent a starbucks from opening on campus

Two University of California San Diego (UCSD) students, Holly Nguyen and Maya Land, have been charged with arson for allegedly setting fires to prevent a final vote that would have allowed a Starbucks coffee shop to open on campus. Nguyen and Land have pled not guilty. According to this morning’s KFMB article,

Prosecutors allege that the two undergrads, who were captured on surveillance video entering the Price Center on the UCSD campus shortly before the fires were set in two separate restrooms, were part of the ‘Earth Liberation Front’ or ELF, the collective name for individuals or factions that resort to “eco-terrorism” to stop, in their view, the exploitation of the environment. … The attorney for Maya Land told CBS News 8 unequivocally that her client is not affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front, and claimed that Land did not even know what ELF was.

Starbucks apparently violated the university’s fair trade policy, making the proposal to open one controversial. Yet the Starbucks was ultimately approved. No one was injured by the fires.