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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Update May 27, 2004

1. Campaign Victories

  • University of California Santa Cruz: We received news last week that a resolution had been passed by the Student Union Assembly at the University of California Santa Cruz entitled "A Bill in Support of Coca-Cola Corporate Responsibility." It can be found on our website at www.killercoke.org in the "Campus Activism" section, along with a letter addressed to the school's chancellor. The resolution called on the "University [to] re-evaluate its relationship with Coca-Cola in light of the company's human rights record."
  • We recently learned that AFSCME Local 12, Iowa, "has given up COke down at the Union Hall and will no longer stock it in our machine. Why? Because Coca-Cola, in Colombia, has exhibited the most profound anti-union stance imaginable." The local went on to say, "In the 1980s, due to international pressure, Coca-Cola stopped killings in Guatemala. Do it again!"
  • The oldest and largest language school in Xela (Qualzaltenango) Guatemala, Projecto Linguistico Quetzalteco, "does not permit the consumption of Coca-Cola or Coke products at the school."
  • On April 17th, a rally to Stop Killer Coke was held at the union hall of UAW Local 22, Detroit's largest GM local. The rally was sponsored by UAW Region 1, Region 1A, UAW Local 22, SEMCOSH and the Detroit branch of the IWW. In December, Local 22 removed its Coke machine and banned the sale and distribution of Coke products at any of its functions. UAW Local 909 President Al Bendrich informed us that his local told The Coca-Cola Co. that they will no longer be stocking Coca-Cola products in their vending machine. UAW Regions 1 and 1A and Local 174 have also terminated their relationship with Coke.
  • We were also recently informed that a local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers "had the vending machine operators pull all Coke products out of the machines in the lunchroom..."

2. Protest Coke at G8 Summit

Campaign to Stop Killer Coke will be joining in the protests of the G8 summit. If you live in the area or are planning to attend the protests, join us in raising the issue of how Georgia-based Coca-Cola benefits from the pro-business policies advocated by the G8.

On Sat. June 5th in Atlanta, GA there will be a Globalization Teach-In which will include a protest at the World of Coca-Cola Pavilion and a workshop about Coca-Cola. For more info, see this link

Throughout the week of events planned at the G8 summit, we will be raising the issue of Coca-Cola's corporate malfeasance. Please let us know if you can help. Atlanta IndyMedia has a site of different events that will be taking place. Click on link.

3. New Photos

There are new photos in our "Protest Pics" section of the April 17 Campaign rally and spaghetti dinner at Detroit's UAW Local 22. The rally occurred on the final day of the Detroit-area tour at which SINALTRAINAL leader Luis Adolfo Cardona spoke.

4. List of Activists

Last week, we published an updated list of colleges and universities that have active Campaigns to Stop Killer Coke in our "Campus Activism" section. We asked supporters to contact us if any schools were left off the list. We did receive a few corrections and a statement that the Brooklyn [NY] Greens were supporting the Campaign.

If there are any further corrections, please e-mail them to info@KillerCoke.org.

5. Fortune

In the June 7 issue of Fortune, an unflattering front-cover story about Coke was published entitled: "Coke The Real Story: How One of the World's Great Companies Lost Its Way," by Betsy Morris. The story pointed out, "Coke's decision not to investigate possible union-related murders at its bottlers in Colombia has become a public relations nightmare."

The article also highlights a key reason that General Counsel and Secretary Deval Patrick resigned from the company. Coke's CEO Doug Daft "abruptly reversed a four-month old decision to let General Counsel Patrick investigate Coke's problems in Colombia. Patrick had announced at an awards dinner last fall in Washington that he would look into the labor violence at Coke's Colombian bottlers, and with a green light from Daft had begun the process." (At the Equal Justice Works conference in October, a dozen protesters distributed hundreds of Campaign brochures and leaflets protesting the organization's honoring Patrick. Inside the meeting, Patrick was questioned about the issue and he felt pressured to mount an independent investigation. This story was first broken by Washington Post reporter Margaret Pressler on April 22 in an article entitled, "Human Rights Charges still Gnaw at Coca-Cola." The article can be found in our News section.)

6. Due to the large number of e-mails the Campaign receives, we are somewhat behind in answering them. Please be patient and we'll get back to you. Anyone who sends us an e-mail from anywhere in the world — please include your phone number and the best times to reach you during the day, night or weekends.

If you have been waiting for a long time for an answer, please don't hesitate to send us another e-mail with your phone number.