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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Newsletter | March 19, 2004

Emergency Coca-Cola Actions Continue:

  1. WORKERS TO RAMP UP HUNGER STRIKE ON MARCH 23
  2. STUDENT SOLIDARITY ACTIONS PLANNED
  3. E-MAIL PROTESTS TO COCA-COLA
  4. Tuesday, March 23: CALL COKE OFFICES AND DIRECTORS
  5. Thursday, March 25: COKE IS DEFECTIVE DAY
  6. Campus Activism Packet — Campaign for a Coca-Cola Free Campus

1. WORKERS TO RAMP UP HUNGER STRIKE ON MARCH 23: On Monday, March 15, about 30 Coca-Cola workers who belong to SINALTRAINAL (National Union of Food Industry Workers in Colombia) began a hunger strike in front of eight Coke bottling plants to protest the company's plans to close 11 of 16 Colombian plants and phase out their jobs. While most of the workers involved have been on rotating one-day hunger strikes, some are already taking part in an indefinite one and more people are expected to join them on March 23. See the union's Web site in Spanish — http://www.sinaltrainal.org/ and please support them as described below.

2. STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN SOLIDARITY ACTIONS ON MARCH 23: On Tuesday, March 23, students organized by United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) will participate in fasting and other actions in solidarity with the Coca-Cola hunger strikers. Protests are expected to take place at Coca-Cola offices around the United States, including those in Needham Heights, MA (near Boston); Atlanta, GA; Cincinnati, OH; Niles, IL (near Chicago); Oakland, CA; Los Angeles, CA; New York City, and Columbia, MD. USAS also hopes to organize protests at Knoxville, TN; Tampa, FL; Mission, KS; Phoenix, AZ; Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, TX. Contact Lenore at lenore@usasnet.org or at (212)-265-7000 ext. 4351, or Judi at mnitsch@indiana.edu if you want to get involved.

3. E-MAIL PROTESTS TO COCA-COLA: Please continue sending e-mails to Coca-Cola Media Relations Issues Director Lori Billingsley. USAS has created a web page that makes it easy to send e-mails to her and to tell your friends about the campaign.

4. CALL COKE OFFICES AND DIRECTORS ON MARCH 23: In support of the above actions, please call Coke offices and express your concerns about current and long-term mistreatment of workers in Colombia. As The Coca-Cola Co. annual meeting (scheduled for April 21 in Wilmington, Delaware) approaches, call Coke's top executives and board members and urge them to use their power as policymakers to ensure that Coke does the Right Thing.

Call Coca-Cola CEO Douglas Daft at (404) 515-7099.
Call Coca-Cola President and Coca-Cola FEMSA (Coca-Cola's largest bottler in Colombia) Board Member Steven Heyer at (404) 515-0139.

Call Coca-Cola directors. Their phone numbers are at: http://www.killercoke.org/coke_board_members.php

5. Thursday March 25: COKE IS DEFECTIVE DAY: Alone or with friends, go to stores and pick up a Coke product, bring it to the cash register or customer service desk and politely inform a store employee that you consider Coke products to be "Defective" — unfit to buy or consume in light of the suppression and murder of union workers at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia, as well as the overexploitation of water and pollution in India; Coke's failure to live up to its promise to provide HIV/AIDS treatment to its African workers; the company's longstanding hostility toward environmental concerns, i.e. bottle bills (a major issue in New York), recycling and much more - see How Credible is Coca-Cola? Beyond Coke's Crimes in Colombia.

In New York City, meet at Union Square South (14th St. & Broadway) at 6 pm; Flash-Protest at 6:30. Elsewhere, organize a Flash-Protest of your own and let us know; or check our website at www.killercoke.org

  • Send out an e-mail urging people to meet at a certain time and place, preferably near several grocery stores that sell Coca-Cola products (including Minute Maid and Odwalla juices, Dasani filtered tap water, Powerade and Nestea as well as soda brands Coke, Sprite, and Fanta.)
  • As people congregate, hand out small flyers assigning them a nearby store to visit. The flyer should include info about Coke and be left at stores by participants. Make different flyers for each store so that participants do not all go to the same one.
  • Half an hour or less after meeting, people leave for their assigned stores and engage in the above action, but do not purchase the Coke product.
  • People communicate concern with Coke as "socially defective " and leave the handout.
  • As an organizer, scout out stores near meeting spot(s) and prepare handouts to give to people with an address of where to go.
  • Afterwards, arrange to meet at a bar or other place with your brother and sister Flash-Protesters, preferably a place that doesn't serve Coke or one that will not serve Coke for the time you are there (they will appreciate the influx of customers.) This is an evolved form of the FlashMobs that were quite popular last summer and received extensive media attention. Our website - www.killercoke.org - will have more info and organizing details. Let us know if you want to do this and especially if you want to be a point organizer. Contact: info@killercoke.org

6. Campus Activism Packet — Campaign for a Coca-Cola Free Campus: This newly-posted aid for campus activists can be found at www.killercoke.org/downloads/campguide.pdf