Pittsburgh coffee house targeted over Trump punch cards gets support of City Council

“Open discourse and debate are the bedrock of our democracy, therefore attacks on civil liberties cannot be tolerated.”

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@BlackForgePGH
Sarah Anne Hughes

A Pittsburgh coffee house that was targeted with harassment and threats over punch cards that feature a photo of President Donald Trump found more supporters today: Pittsburgh City Council.

Council President Bruce Kraus sponsored a resolution to stand “in solidarity with Black Forge Coffee House and those who wish to partake in their protected right to engage in all forms of expression.” All council members present for today’s proclamations supported the resolution.

“Whether it is satire, or another form of expression that an individual may employ to express his or herself, it is vital that we, as a community, stand in support of those who wish to be part of ongoing constructive discourse,” the resolution states. “Open discourse and debate are the bedrock of our democracy, therefore attacks on civil liberties cannot be tolerated.”

The Allentown coffee shop introduced a new version of the punch cards, which feature the faces of Republican elected officials and commentators, last month — with holes punched through the foreheads of these figures. Fox News picked up the story and, as Pittsburgh City Paper reported, the backlash online was swift and extended to threats to burn down the building and accusations that the shop’s owners are pedophiles.

In a statement, Black Forge called the cards a “humorous marketing tool … We do not wish harm or violence on anybody, including the people depicted on the punch cards. We will continue to carry these cards as a form of political satire.”

Kraus, whose district includes Allentown, delivered the resolution today to Black Forge’s owners Ashley Corts and Nick Miller.

Read it below.