Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Update June 23, 2004
1. June 18 Protest at Gracie Mansion
(You can get to the Reports section by clicking on the link at the beginning of the News Section)
More than 15 Campaigners showed up at New York City's Gracie Mansion, Mayor Bloombergs' official residence, to protest Coca-Cola's co-sponsorship of a reception for New York City's Olympic torchbearers. We distributed hundreds of flyers prepared for this event entitled: "Dear Mayor Bloomberg: Don't Carry a Torch for Killer Coke." Read the flyer in pdf format.or in html format. We attached the flyer to our "Colombian Coke Float" petition. New York City Council Member Hiram Monserrate joined us for the action and we all had numerous conversations with those attending the reception as well as passersbys. Many attendees brought the flyers into Gracie Mansion with them.
2. The Campaign's Response to The New York Times editorial of June 16, 2004 — Not published by the Times
Letter to the Editor
The New York Times
Re: "Another Coke Classic," (Editorial, 6/16/04): During Coca-Cola's shareholders' meeting in April, I addressed Coke CEO Douglas Daft, criticizing the company, stating, "This is a company under its present leadership that operates with unrestrained greed."
In addition to the corporate greed I raised and you cited in your editorial, I also said: "All evidence shows that The Coca-Cola System is rife with immorality, corruption and complicity in gross human rights violations including murder and torture." Coca-Cola has been criticized by human rights, environmental and health groups for worldwide abuses including complicity in the murder, torture and kidnapping of unionists in Colombia by paramilitaries; the overexploitation and pollution of water sources in India; racially-discriminatory practices in the United States, and the aggressive marketing to children of nutritionally worthless and damaging soft drinks that helps fuel the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics.
For my remarks, six security guards attacked me, roughed me up and threw me out of the hotel.
These are but a few of the issues that Coke's Board of Directors must address — the real thing must do the right thing.
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
3.Bloomberg Markets"Coke's World of Woes," by Adam Levy and Steve Matthews, July 2004.
On Saturday, June 19, Bloomberg News (cable tv) presented a feature piece entitled: "Coca-Cola CEO Neville Isdell Faces Challenges" and in this month's Bloomberg Markets magazine is a similar print version, "Coke's World of Woes," by Adam Levy and Steve Matthews. You can link to the article in html format in our News section. In the television feature and article, the issues in Colombia and India are highlighted as part of Coke's woes and the televison film includes footage of an anti-Coke demonstration in Colombia, the June 5 protest at Coke's pavillion in Atlanta and photos of protests in India.
4. Demo on Thursday, July 1 against Coke's sign in Times Square
On July 1, a new $6.5-million Coca-Cola advertising sign will be unveiled in Times Square in New York City. "Coke asserts that it is the first giant sculptural, interactive, high-definition advertising display on the planet, " according to The New York Times
At this point, we do not have full details of our protest and literature distribution, but we will contact you when we do. Please keep the date open.
5. Campaign Mailing to SunTrust States
The Campaign sent out a 9,500-piece mailing to the SunTrust Banks areas — Florida; Georgia; Tennessee; Washington, DC; Maryland; Virginia, and Alabama. "Seven Reasons I Can't Trust SunTrust, the Bank of Killer Coke" is a petition (in pdf format) to be sent to the Board of Directors of the bank stating: "If 'The Real Thing' won't do the right thing in Colombia and elsewhere, SunTrust should sever all ties to Coca-Cola," including the fact that SunTrust shares numerous directors with Coke and the bank is the second largest shareholder of Coca-Cola with 5% of Coke's common stock. Side one of the petition is another Jay Lynch original. Read the petition.
In addition, the mailing contained a letter signed by SINALTRAINAL President Javier Correa and Spokesman in U.S. exile Luis Adolfo Cardona, as well as Campaign Director Ray Rogers. The letter, in part, states:
"Unions, students and social justice groups around the world are starting to bring real pressure to bear against Coke. Six universities, many unions and others have terminated pouring contracts and banned Coke machines and the sale or distribution of Coke products from their premises and functions. But Coke's top policymakers need to feel a lot more pressure. That can happen quickly if Coke's long-time partner in crime, SunTrust Banks, is held accountable by individuals, unions and like-minded organizations that collectively have billions of dollars deposited and invested in the bank.
"SINALTRAINAL is asking people and organizations to send strongly-worded letters and petitions to SunTrust. Let the bank know that as long as it retains numerous boardroom interlocks, owns 5% of Coke's stock and maintains major credit relationships with Coke, it will be the target of an aggressive boycott and disinvestment campaign. Please send letters and/or mail the enclosed petitions to SunTrust and Coca-Cola, respectively. That way, you'll be sending a powerful message to both companies."
Please print out page 2 of the petition to SunTrust's Board of Directors and mail it to them at:
Board of Directors
SunTrust Banks, Inc.
303 Peachtree St., NE
Atlanta, GA 30308