Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Alert
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY BANS COCA-COLA FOR ITS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN COLOMBIA
December 8, 2005
New York University (NYU), the largest private university in the country with over 50,000 students and 16,000 employees, becomes the 12th college or university in the United States, and at least the 20th worldwide, to have taken strong economic action against The Coca-Cola Co. by banning the sale and marketing of Coke products on campus.
On Nov. 28, Coca-Cola spokesperson Kari Bjorhus expressed concern regarding the possible removal of Coke products from NYU. She told the Washington Square News: "NYU is a trendsetting university, and that could greatly harm our reputation."
In the New York metropolitan area, NYU joins Rutgers University, one of the largest state universities in the country, and Union Theological Seminary in banning Coke products from their campuses since last spring. During the same period, St. Peters Prep, a Jesuit high school in Jersey City, removed all Coke products from its campus after students and faculty members waged a campaign to ban Coke.
"We applaud the students on the hard-won victory at New York University to hold Coca-Cola accountable for its serious human rights abuses in Colombia and around the world," said Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers (www.KillerCoke.org). "The world becomes a better place when students act to end terrible wrongs plaguing our society."
"This victory becomes even sweeter when one recognizes that Coca-Cola board member Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp, is on the Board of Trustees of New York University," added Rogers. "I hope that students will continue their campaign by seeking to hold Diller accountable. Coke's problems are only going to mushroom at colleges, universities and high schools, while support continues to grow among unions, human rights groups and others."
Below is a press release from the student Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at NYU:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact Erin Keskeny 406.381.2299 firstname.lastname@example.org
NYU BANS COCA-COLA FOR ITS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN COLOMBIA
New York, December 8, 2005 — New York University will begin removing all Coca-Cola products from its campus on December 9th in protest of the company's failure to submit to an independent investigation of its bottling plants in Colombia, where workers have accused Coke of human rights abuses. New York City Councilmember Hiram Monserrate who led a delegation to Colombia that concluded "It seems indisputable that Coke workers have been systematically persecuted for their union activity," will conduct a press conference on Monday, December 12th to celebrate the most recent victory in a campaign that has inspired boycotts at 11 other schools.
Students at over 70 colleges and universities across the country have called for an investigation into allegations made by members of SINALTRAINAL, the national food and beverage workers' union in Colombia. Over the last 16 years, seven Coca-Cola workers affiliated with SINALTRAINAL have been murdered, and countless others have been harassed, intimidated, threatened, kidnapped and/or fired for their union activities.
The student campaign to ban Coke at NYU has garnered support among the student body through a series of educational events, and demonstrations on campus, since its inception in March of 2004. A petition has been endorsed by many student clubs as well as the University Committee on Student Life (UCSL), representing all student councils from all of NYU's 14 schools. On November 3rd, the All University Senate (AUS), the highest decision-making body of the university, representing students, faculty and administrators, voted to support the student resolution to stop the sale and distribution of Coca-Cola products on campus until the company agrees to an independent investigation. After over six months of deliberation by the AUS, the resolution passed despite the testimony of Coca-Cola representatives who spoke at a specially arranged AUS forum.
The ban at NYU comes at a time when pressure is mounting from various groups — both in the U.S. and abroad — for Coke to address concerns of human rights abuses in India, Turkey, Pakistan, and Guatemala as well as Colombia.
City Council Member Hiram Monserrate can be contacted at city hall at 212.788.6862. A copy of the delegation's final report can be read at www.killercoke.org/reports_monserrate.php. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is reachable at 718.852.2808. The student campaign at NYU can be contacted at 406.381.2299.
FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.