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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Update

Students and Labor Protests, the Shareholders' Meeting and More: March 23, 2005 Newsletter

Contents of This Newsletter

  1. Poet Martin Espada, UMass Amherst, Sends SINALTRAINAL his Coke Stipend
  2. Coca-Cola Campaign Speaking Tour
  3. Coke Vending Machine Ban at Roma Tre University (Rome, Italy)
  4. 15,000-member University of Guelph Student Union Dropping Coke (Canada)
  5. Rutgers Graduate Student Association Bans Coke and Calls on University to Do the Same
  6. New York University Senate Sends Strong Letter to Coke CEO Isdell
  7. USWA Asst. General Counsel Dan Kovalik Reports on DePaul and Harvard Killercoke Forums
  8. 12,000 Member SEIU Local 2028 Bans Coke Products
  9. NYU AFT Local 3882 Resolutions to Boycott Coke
  10. Union Leader Seeks Mutual Funds that Exclude Killer Coke for Union's 401K Plan
  11. Oakville & District Labour Council and Canadian Auto Workers Local 707 Calls on Canadian Labor Congress to Support Campaign
  12. Angie Romo nominated for Women of Labour Award Nominee — Toronto and York Region of Canada OSSTF (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation), District 12.
  13. ECOSY's 33 Organisations Resolve to Boycott Coke (Europe)
  14. UK Protestors Shut Down Coke Distribution Depot
  15. Mothering, "Does Coke Money Corrupt Kids' Dentistry?" by Allen D. Kanner and Joshua Golin, March/April 2005
  16. "Legislators Watch Celtics Game in Coca-Cola's Luxury Box," News Channel 10, Mar. 11, 2005
  17. Quotes on Coke
  18. Take Actions Against Coke!
  19. Please send photos, reports of events, etc. for the Campaign website

(On April 19th, the Campaign will travel from all over the East Coast to Wilmington, Delaware to participate in and to demonstrate at the annual Coca-Cola shareholders meeting at the Hotel Du Pont at 10:30 am. We are asking supporters to join us to raise issues inside the meeting and to protest outside beginning at 9:30 am. Individuals and organizations planning to demonstrate, please contact us.

If you have a Coke proxy and do not plan to use it, please contact us and we will explain how to sign the proxy over to us so that another supporter can enter the meeting. Click here to get further information on the meeting.

Contact information: (718) 852-2808 orinfo@KillerCoke.org

1. Poet Martin Espada, UMass Amherst, Sends SINALTRAINAL his Coke Stipend
On March 11, Poet Martin Espada was scheduled to read at Kansas University cosponsored by The Coca-Cola Co. Our Campaign contacted him and asked him if he would be willing to refuse to hold or drink a Coke as is expected by contract at many schools. Mr. Espada said that he would absolutely refuse, and he would also "bite the hand that feeds him" and make a statement criticizing Coke's policies in Latin America. The next day, he told the Campaign about his plan to take the money he would receive from Coke and contribute it to SINALTRAINAL — "not an easy thing for a poet to do."

Lawrence Journal-World (Kansas), "Poet to use Cola-Cola grant against company: Funds given to bring Espada to KU will go to union in Colombia," By Jay Senter, March 11, 2005
Read Article

Kansas.com, "Poet Blends Humor, Politics," March 11, 2005

2. Killer Coke Campaign Speaking Tour

The international campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable will be on a SPEAKING TOUR of the East Coast from April 4-19, 2005.

The tour will feature speakers on both the Colombian and Indian campaigns against Coca-Cola.

  • Mon, April 4 — Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ — 7 pm
  • Tues, April 5 — Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY — 12:30 pm
  • Tues, April 5 — New York University, New York, NY — 7 pm
  • Wed, April 6 — Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY — 7 pm
  • Thu, April 7 — Georgian Court University, Lakewood, NJ — 6 pm
  • Mon, April 11 — Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA — 7 pm
  • Tue, April 12 — Smith College, Northampton, MA — 7:30 pm
  • Wed, April 13 — Chinatown, Boston, MA — 7 pm
  • Thu, April 14 — Haverford College, Haverford, PA — 4:30 pm
  • Fri, April 15 — Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA — 4 pm
  • Tue, April 19 — Coca-Cola Shareholders Meeting, Wilmington, DE — 10 am

For more information, visit www.IndiaResource.org or email info@IndiaResource.org

3. Coca-Cola Vending Machine Ban at Roma Tre University (Italy)
Roma Tre, the third largest university in Rome, Italy, is banning Coca-Cola products from the campus vending machines after a unanimous vote by the university's governing council — ANSA English Media Service — on March 10. It was also reported that "Rome's 11th District Council decided to remove products distributed by Coca-Cola from municipal office vending machines last October, kicking off a nationwide campaign to spread information about the multinational's alleged practices."
Read Article

4. 15,000-member University of Guelph Student Union Dropping Coke (Canada)
The Campaign was notified on March 11 by the External Commissioner of the Central Student Assn. that the 15,000-member University of Guelph Student Union is "dropping Coke as their supplier." This is a tremendous victory for both the students who have been campaigning for the past year and for the Campaign in Canada.

Thanks to all of you who made these victories possible in the University of Guelph community and the Roma Tre community, as well as all of you around the world, who continue working on behalf of labor and human rights.

5. Rutgers Graduate Student Association Bans Coke and Calls on University to Do the Same
The Graduate Student Association at Rutgers University has just passed a resolution to:

  1. not serve Coca-Cola products at GSA meetings;
  2. to urge President McCormick not to renew an exclusive beverage contract with Coca-Cola ;
  3. to urge President McCormick to find alternatives to an exclusive beverage contract and to consider corporate social and environmental responsibility a high priority when making purchasing decisions

6. New York University Senate Sends Strong Letter to Coke CEO Isdell
"…In our president's most recent town hall meeting with students, almost half the attendees were supporters of a campaign to ban your company's products from our campus; they were passionate about this cause and pressed their case with vigor and civility..."
Read entire letter

7. USWA Asst. General Counsel Dan Kovalik Reports on DePaul and Harvard Killercoke Forums
DePaul University: On Feb. 26, 2005, students and community activists gathered to hear panelists Javier Correa, President of SINALTRAINAL; Luis Adolfo Cardona; Daniel Kovalik, and Tom Burke speak about the abuses of Coca-Cola and its bottlers in Colombia and what students and activists can do to support the Coca-Cola workers in Colombia. The sizable crowd heard of the Coca-Cola bottlers' long-standing attempts to destroy the SINALTRAINAL union, many times through violent means. At the same time, the panelists emphasized how the activism of campuses like DePaul have had a profound impact on the struggle in Colombia. As Javier Correa noted, the campaign against Coke is literally saving lives in Colombia and, for this reason, it is important to redouble the efforts to fight Coke on college campuses. This event was part of the Colombia Action Network's weekend conference on Colombia, and was co-sponsored by the DePaul Alliance for Latino Empowerment (DALE) and t he DePaul Activist Student Union (ASU). All these groups have been active in attempting to remove Coca-Cola from the DePaul campus.

Harvard University: On March 8, 2005, the Harvard Center for Human Rights hosted an event on Colombia and corporate complicity in human rights abuses in that country. Students from throughout Harvard came to hear Avi Chomsky, Francisco Ramirez and Daniel Kovalik speak about abuses by Drummond Coal Company, Occidental Petroleum and, of course, The Coca-Cola Company.

8. 12,000 Member SEIU Local 2028 Bans Coke Products
Local member Jeff Graves reported that he was informed by Mary Grillo, Local 2028's executive director, that the local will no longer provide Coca-Cola products at union events/meetings and will no longer sell such products at the union hall. This decision fits in with the resolution passed at SEIU's national convention resolving that SEIU "support the worldwide call to boycott Coca-Cola and work to win broad AFL-CIO support for the campaign against Killer Coke." Thank you Jeff Graves, Mary Grillo and Local 2028 for your activism on behalf of enforcing labor and human rights at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia.

9. NYU AFT Local 3882 Resolutions to Boycott Coke
Resolutions Adopted by the Executive Council of the Union of Clerical and Technical Workers of New York University, March 8, 2005
"Our union represents the 1700 clerical and technical workers at New York University, and although we've banned Coke products for a while, and first wrote of the international boycott in our newsletter back in 2003, we passed these resolutions as a way of saluting the students activists of the NYU Kick Coke campaign."
Read Resolutions
(For further information, contact Vice President Bob Lesko at: rl10@nyu.edu.)

10. Union Leader Seeks Mutual Funds that Exclude Killer Coke for Union's 401K Plan
Steve Gillis, President of USWA Local 8751, representing Boston school bus drivers, wants to eliminate Coca-Cola from his members' 401K retirement plans. If you have information, please contact sgillie@bellatlantic.net. Earlier in the Campaign, the local had all the Coke vending machines removed from all their bus garages.

11. Oakville & District Labour Council and Canadian Auto Workers Local 707 Calls on Canadian Labor Congress to Support Campaign
It would be helpful for labour unions and labour councils throughout Canada to contact the Canadian Labour Congress and express their support for these resolutions. For further information, contact Larry Wells at: larrywells@cogeco.ca.
Read Oakville Resolution
Read CAW 707 Resolution

12. Campaign Activist Angie Romo nominated for Women of Labour Award
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke activist and teacher Angie Romo (Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation, District 12) was "honoured for her remarkable contributions, especially in the area of supporting Colombian workers and trade unionists (SINALTRAINAL), her indefatigable fight against the abuses of one of Colombia's largest soft-drink bottlers (through her work on the Killer Coke Campaign) and as a strong advocate for working women's rights everywhere."

"At the December (2003) STBU, the Secondary Teachers' Bargaining Unit, Council meeting, councilors voted to boycott all Coca Cola products (including Minute Maid, Nestea, Fruitopia) at all D12 council meetings. D12 members are encouraged to do the same at their branch locations." District 12 Voice.
Read Article

13. ECOSY's 33 Organisations Resolve to Boycott Coke (Europe)
A report from Cian O'Callaghan of Labour Youth:

"An umbrella of 33 organisations in 25 countries has joined the call for a boycott of Coca-Cola goods as the boycott continues to spread internationally. The resolution was put forward by Labour Youth Ireland.

"The ECOSY (European Young Socialists) bi-annual conference concluded on Sunday March 20th in Cascais near Lisbon after 4 days of motions, amendments, and — resolutions — significantly the Labour Youth resolution on the Killer Coke campaign was passed with a large majority.

"ECOSY (www.ecosy.org) is an umbrella organisation of 33 Socialist, Labour and Social Democratic youth parties in 25 European countries. It also has 8 associate member organisations and 17 observer organisations stretching as far as Russia and Israel. Several of the member organisations have memberships well into the hundreds of thousands making ECSOY one of the largest organisations in Europe to back the boycott to date.

"The resolution that was passed calls on ECOSY to promote and support the call of SINALTRAINAL to campaign for the boycott of Coca-Cola and all its products."

For further information, contact Cian O'Callaghan in Ireland at: Cian_Ocallaghan@labour.ie.

14. UK Protestors Shut Down Coke Distribution Depot
"I came down tonight to support this because the UK is one of the biggest consumers of Coca-Cola in the world, and it's a company with a lot of blood on its hands."
Read Report

15. Mothering, "Does Coke Money Corrupt Kids' Dentistry?" by Allen D. Kanner and Joshua Golin, March/April 2005
We know that sugar-laden soda can cause cavities. So why is the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry accepting financial support from Coca-Cola?
Read Article

16. "Legislators Watch Celtics Game in Coca-Cola's Luxury Box," News Channel 10, Mar. 11, 2005
"It was confirmed Friday that the luxury box where legislators watched a Celtics game last week is owned by the Coca-Cola Company.

"Political reporter Bill Rappleye, who broke this story, reported it was a week ago Wednesday when nearly a dozen lawmakers hopped into a coach at the Statehouse, and traveled to Boston to watch the basketball game...

"Operation Clean Government alleges it is inappropriate to accept from a corporation that lobbies before the General Assembly the privilege of using their luxury box."
Read Related Article

17. Quotes on Coke

Restaurant Owner on Replacing Coke
"We have to replace Coke, Sprite and Root Beer with something we can be proud of and our customers will embrace…Some of this was prompted by Killer Coke which documents murder of union activists at bottling pants in Colombia, SA."

Camilo Romero, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) national organizer, reported on quotes from students:
"If campuses don't react swiftly by cutting ties with Coca-Cola, then we are complicit in the kidnapping, torture, and murder of workers in Colombia."

"We cannot allow our campus administrators to cover for the Coca-Cola company, making closed-door deals over the will of the student body and over the will of workers' bodies."

Campaign Director Ray Rogers at NYC Central Park Peace Rally
"Coca-Cola is a big contributor to George Bush. And like the world of George Bush, the world of Coca-Cola is a world of lies, deception, immorality, corruption and gross human rights and environmental abuses...Let's all work together to stop the war, stop Bush and stop Killer Coke."

From The Mesa Press, March 1, 2005, "Unions boycott 'Killer Coke'
"AFT faculty representative and Mesa English professor Jennifer Cost said she has joined the boycott and does not purchase any Coca-Cola products."

The California Federation of Teachers passed a resolution to boycott Coke on Oct. 2, 2004

18. Take Actions Against Coke!

19. Please send photos, reports of events, etc. for the Campaign website
Please send photos, reports of events, and if you are in a school, union or organization that has banned Coke products, please send us the resolution or description of how the decision was made. We would like the Campaign website to be up-to-date and to share the information with all supporters via our newsletter.

In addition, we would still appreciate an e-mail to info@KillerCoke.org with your name and city-state/province-country for our database so that we can contact you when there are events in your area


Campaign to Stop KILLER COKE

We are seeking your help to stop a gruesome cycle of murders, kidnappings, and torture of union leaders and organizers involved in daily life-and-death struggles at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia, South America.

"If we lose the fight against Coca-Cola, we will first lose our union, next our jobs and then our lives." SINALTRAINAL VIce President Juan Carlos Galvis


Please donate to the Campaign.


Learn the truth about The Coca-Cola Co.

"We believe the evidence shows that Coca-Cola and its corporate network are rife with immorality, corruption and complicity in murder."
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc. Director Ray Rogers

Visit www.KillerCoke.org