Ray Rogers of Corporate Campaign, Inc. to speak
at the G8 teach-in and the Coke protest on June 5 in Atlanta
For Immediate Release
Atlanta G8 Organizing Committee
ATLANTA - Ray Rogers, director of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, will lead a protest against "Killer Coke" at Coca-Cola's World of Coke Pavilion in downtown Atlanta on Saturday, June 5, 2004 at 1 pm. The march on the World of Coke Pavilion is part of an all-day teach-in on "The G8 and Corporate Domination" being held from 9:30 am to 5 pm at the Urban Life Auditorium at Georgia State University. Rogers, a long-time labor activist, will also be a panel speaker at the teach-in.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke was launched a year ago by Corporate Campaign, Inc. and other labor and advocacy organizations to protest Coca-Cola's complicity in massive human rights violations at its bottling plants in Colombia, South America. Paramilitary forces, often in collaboration with Coke's managers, have committed at least 179 major human rights violations of Coca-Cola's workers, including eight murders. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is demanding that the Coca-Cola Company live up to its "code of business conduct" by investigating and putting a stop to this systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture, and murder of union activists and their families.
At the Coca-Cola shareholders meeting on April 21, 2004, Rogers confronted Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Douglas Daft, quoting from a lawsuit against the company filed on behalf of the union representing Coke's Colombian employees: "The lawsuit charges that Coca-Cola bottlers in Colombia contracted with, or otherwise directed, paramilitary security forces that utilize extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders." Rogers was then forcibly attacked and removed from the shareholders' meeting by Coke security. Subsequently, Rogers charged that the Coca-Cola Company, not he, was involved in disorderly conduct: "Certainly the shareholders did not have to be protected from me; but society has to be protected from companies like Coca-Cola."
Campaigns to terminate major contracts with Coca-Cola are ongoing at campuses across the country. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is also focusing on SunTrust Banks which shares numerous board members with Coke, owns 5% of its stock, and serves as a major source of credit for the company. Rogers' visit to Atlanta will help kick off an aggressive boycott and disinvestment campaign against SunTrust.
In addition, the campaign is highlighting other issues including the company's overexploitation and pollution of water sources in India and elsewhere, its unfair trade practices in Central America and other countries, failure to live up to promises to provide access to HIV/AIDS treatment for Coca-Cola workers in Africa, the company's longstanding opposition to bottle bills in the U.S., aggressive marketing of nutritionally worthless and damaging products to children that help fuel the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics, Coke's long history of racial discrimination, and other matters. These issues relate to the broader themes of the G8, globalization and corporate domination that will be discussed at the June 5 teach-in.
The Atlanta G8 Organizing Committee is sponsoring the teach-in and the demonstration at the World of Coke Pavilion on June 5. "The teach-in will provide an opportunity for residents of Atlanta to learn more about the G8 before going to the Georgia Coast to protest the G8 summit," said Frank Bove, an organizer with the Committee. The teach-in at the Urban Life Auditorium (140 Decatur Street at the corner of Piedmont and Decatur) is free of charge. Registration is at 9:30 am and the panel discussion will be held from 10 am to 12:30 pm. The demonstration at the World of Coke Pavilion will be held from 1 pm to 2 pm. The teach-in will resume at 2:15 pm at the Urban Life Auditorium with workshops on the environment, militarism and war, human rights, worker rights, sweatshops, the debt crisis, and the impact of G8 policies on the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Frank at 770-934-5613. For information on all G8 events, go to the Atlanta Independent Media website <http://atlanta.indymedia.org> . For more information about the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke <http://www.KillerCoke.org> , see the website. For more information about the lawsuit against Coca-Cola filed by the International Labor Rights Fund and United Steelworkers of America, see www.LaborRights.org <http://www.laborrights.org> .
Atlanta G8 Organizing Committee
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