Press Release | India Resource Center | June 29, 2007
Atlanta: Over a hundred protesters gathered today at the New World Of Coke museum in Atlanta - the hometown of Coca-Cola - to question the company's human rights and environmental abuses.
A 20-foot banner - Coca-Cola Destroys Lives, Livelihoods, Communities - was hung in front of the museum as speakers from denounced the company's practices in India, Colombia and internationally.
"This World of Coke museum is a fairy tale land, and the real side of Coke is littered with abuses," said Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center, the primary organizer of the protest. "We are here to set the record straight."
The New World of Coke is Coca-Cola's latest museum that opened on May 24, 2007, and promises visitors to "Discover the secret formula to happiness within!"
Protesters also delivered a large picture of a protest against Coca-Cola in India as an exhibit to be added to the museum.
"The museum is a shameful attempt by the Coca-Cola company to hide its crimes," said Sanjay M.G. of the National Alliance of People's Movements, the largest coalition of grassroots movements in India.
Students from the United Students Against Sweatshops also staged a die-in to reflect Coca-Cola's human rights abuses in Colombia and globally.
The Coca-Cola company has been accused of creating severe water shortages and polluting the land and water around its bottling facilities in India. One of Coca-Cola's largest bottling plants in India has been shut down since March 2004 due to community opposition.
More than 20 colleges and universities in the US, UK and Canada have removed Coca-Cola from campuses as a result of student-led initiatives to apply pressure on the company.
The protest came during the United States Social Forum, a gathering of primarily US-based social movements. Coca-Cola products were banned from most forum events, including the main venue - the Civic Center - as a result of the campaign.
The action against Coca-Cola in Atlanta was endorsed by a large number of groups participating in the United States Social Forum, including Indigenous Environmental Network, United Students Against Sweatshops, National Alliance of People's Movements (India), Grassroots Global Justice, Southwest Network for Economic and Environmental Justice, Southwest Workers Union, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Ruckus Society, Massachusetts Global Action, NYC AIDS Housing Network and India Resource Center.
For more information, visitwww.IndiaResource.org
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