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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Update

"Coke: The New Nike" — Join Us in Wilmington, Delaware

April 13, 2005 Newsletter

Contents of This Newsletter

  1. Speaking Tour to Hold Coke Accountable
  2. Coke aids victims of Colombian violence
  3. Irish National Teachers Organization (INTO) vote to break all ties with Coke
  4. National Union of Students UK
  5. New York State Teachers Remove Coke
  6. Campaign Director Ray Rogers on Air America
  7. ILRF Asst. General Counsel Baxter's Report on His Canadian Tour
  8. Articles
  9. United Kingdom
  10. India
  11. Emails Sent to Coke
  12. Colleges and Universities
  13. Communique from Colombia
  14. Coke and Health
  15. Take Actions Against Coke!
  16. Please send photos, reports of events, etc. for the Campaign website

Please don't forget to mobilize for the annual Coca-Cola shareholders' meeting.

On Tuesday, 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 or stopkillercoke(at)aol.com

1. Speaking Tour to Hold Coke Accountable
Amit Srivastava, India Resource Center, and Ray Rogers, Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, have been speaking at colleges throughout the Northeast. They have already been to: Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY; New York University, New York, NY; Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY; Georgian Court University, Lakewood, NJ; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; Smith College, Northampton, MA, and Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA.

They are still scheduled to speak at:

Wed, April 13 Boston, MA
33 Harrison Ave, 3rd flr, ChinaTown 7 pm
Contact: Suren Moodliar E: surenfairjobs.org

Thu, April 14 Haverford College, Haverford, PA
4:30 pm
Contact: Megan Brooker E: mbrooker(at)haverford.edu

Fri, April 15 Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA
Scheur Room, Kohlberg Hall 4 pm
Contact: Carrie Floyd E: cfloyd1(at)swarthmore.edu

Tue, April 19 Coca-Cola Shareholders Meeting, Wilmington, DE
DuPont Hotel, 11th and Market Streets, Wilmington 9:30 am
Contact: Amit Srivastava E: info(at)IndiaResource.org

McMaster University, Canada, students from Campus Choice, opposing Coca-Cola's exclusivity contract at Mac as well as Coke's human rights violations in Latin America, demostrated outside the Student Center. Students were able to trade in Coke products and sign petitions against Coke.

2. "Coke aids victims of Colombian violence," Reuters, April 13, 2005

We are writing to let you know that, while the struggle is not yet over, there is a positive achievement from our efforts which we can point to. As this article indicates, Coke has created a $10 million social fund to aid victims of the war in Colombia. As the article also makes clear, this was done in the midst of (and clearly because of) the Coke campaign. While we have not yet achieved everything we want to through the campaign, you should be very proud that your efforts have obtained something real and good for people in Colombia. Many times in the movement, we cannot point to such concrete gains. So, it is important to recognize them when we do; this is such an occasion.

At the same time, we have not yet obtained the key demands of our struggle — an affirmative commitment on the part of Coca-Cola and its bottlers to take steps to prevent such violence in the future and compensation for the victims of the violence against the Coca-Cola workers in Colombia. For this, we fight on! I am confident that we will achieve victory.

Best wishes and keep up the great work.
Read Article

3. Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) vote to break all ties with Coke
The INTO at its annual conference in Galway voted on Monday 28th by an overwhelming show of hands to break off all commercial relations with Coke. The vote was so overwhelming that the union bureaucracy didn't even bother to ask for an exact count. Last year, the union bureaucracy came under fire from delegates due to the links with the company and massive stand that they had at the conference. The INTO is the union of which all primary school (12 years and under) teachers are members of.

This year, they tried to use standing orders to block one motion at the Northern Ireland regional conference, but failed. The motion received the support of other branches. The motion was motivated by concerns over what is happening in Colombia and represents another slap in the face for Coca Cola. So far, four colleges and two unions in Ireland have came out in support of the boycott as well as a number of bars and secondary schools.

The Teachers Union of Ireland which represents about half all secondary school (12-18) teachers have already backed the boycott campaign.

4. National Union of Students UK Support Coke Boycott The National Union of Students UK which represents students in hundreds of universities and colleges of further education across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have passed an emergency motion in support of the Coke Boycott. The commercial wing of NUS — NUS Services Limited (NUSSL) — has a massive multi-million pound contract with Coca Cola supplying its drink products exclusively into the vast majority of colleges in the UK and Northern Ireland. The vote does not in itself cancel the contract but it is a major step towards cancellation when the contract comes up for renewal next March. This news comes just a week after the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) passed a motion in support of the boycott.

USI voted on Wednesday March 31st to support the boycott of Coke and Nestle at their Congress in Ennis co. Clare and have vowed to break all links, deals and sponsorship with Coke until such a time as the boycott is called off by Sinaltrainal. USI represents over 250,000 students in more than 40 colleges throughout Ireland North and South. This result came just days after the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) voted to break all ties with Coke.

The European Young Socialists (ECOSY) have also recently come out in support of what is a growing international campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable.

5. New York State Teachers (NYSUT) Remove Coke from Offices and Events
Resolution Passed by the New York State United Teachers, submitted by Professional Staff Congress, CUNY

Resolution Passed on April 9, 2005
Read Resolution: pdfhtml

6. Campaign Director Ray Rogers Interviewed on Air America — Sat., April 16 on "Ring of Fire" from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

Ray's interview with Mike Papantonio is scheduled to air on "Ring of Fire" this Saturday. "Ring of Fire" airs 6:00-7:00 p.m. EST Saturdays and is rebroadcast the same time Sundays in most markets.

You can find your local Air America station at airamericaradio.com or listen online at that site. Next week, the show will be archived at the show's website, www.ringoffireradio.com/. (Please note: some of the local affiliates do not carry Air America on weekends, but you can always listen to the show online.) We hope you'll forward this message your friends and family and invite them to listen.

7. ILRF Asst General Counsel Derek Baxter's Report on His Canadian Tour
On March 21, ILRF Asst. General Counsel Derek Baxter spoke to the Calgary and District Labour Council at the Carpenters Union Hall about the Alien Tort Claims lawsuit against The Coca-Cola Co. The CDLC informed him that they have sponsored two resolutions to be brought to the Canadian Labour Congress meeting, one endorsing the Coca-Cola campaign, the other calling for an independent investigation into the abuses in Colombia.

On March 22, he spoke to the University of Lethbridge at the request of their Faculty of Management. There was a good turnout and overflow crowd.

On March 22, he also spoke at the CUPE Local 474 Hall in Edmonton in a talk sponsored by local unions. Edmonton received 7 inches of snow that day, but a good number of brave souls came out.

Finally, on March 23, he spoke at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law to a very interested crowd of law students.

Sponsors for the talks were:
Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC); Alberta and Northwest Territories Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied Workers; Alberta Public Interest Research Group (APIRG); Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (A.U.P.E.); Blair Chahley Seveny Lawyers; Calgary and District Labour Council; Canadian Labour Congress (C.L.C.); Canadian Union of Public Employees (C.U.P.E.) Locals 474 & 3197; Chivers Carpenter Lawyers; Legal Activist Collective, U of A; Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group (LPIRG); University of Alberta, Faculty of Law; University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Management

8. Articles

  • The Nation (Online), "Coke: The New Nike," by Michael Blanding, March 24, 2005
    Read Article
    Article on CBS.com
  • El Nuevo Herald (Spanish version of the Miami Herald), "Coca-Cola en Colombia no solo mata la sed," By Gerardo Reyes, April 3, 2005
    Read Article

9. United Kingdom

10. India

  • India Resource Center, "Coca-Cola to Hold Talks with Village Council, Community in Plachimada," The Hindu, April 9, 2005
    Read Article
  • India Resource Center, "Groups Vow to Shut Down Coca-Cola Plant," United News of India, April 9, 2005
    Read Article
  • India Resource Center, Press Release: Coca-Cola Affected Community in India Promises Escalation of Campaign, Despite Court Ruling, April 8, 2005
    Read Press Release

11. Emails Sent to Coke
On April 1, the Campaign sent out an Alert asking supporters to send an email letter to Coke. A large majority of those sending letters were Campaign supporters in Italy. We found out that our alert had been translated into Italian and posted on the Italy Indymedia site.

Please continue sending letters to Coke through the April 19th Shareholders meeting using Coke's form.

If supporters from other countries can translate any of our newsletters, articles, reports, etc., and send them to us, we could put the translations online, which would be a tremendous help to the campaign.

12. Colleges and Universities

  • Indiana University
    • Indiana Daily Student, "Coca-Cola has power to stop violence," Letter from Adam Mueller, IU No Sweat
      Read Letter
  • Rutgers University
    • The Daily Targum (Rutgers University), " Indian community speaks on Coke," By Stephanie Guzowski, April 6, 2005
      Read Article
    • The Daily Targum (Rutgers University), " Students form coalition against Coke contract," By Kristen Hamill, March 31, 2005
      Read Article
    • The Daily Targum (Rutgers University), "Search continues for new beverage contract on campus," by Mike New, March 25, 2005
      Read Article
  • University of Lethbridge (Canada)
    • The Lethbridge Herald (Canada), "Cola wars strike close to home: University fundraiser gets tangled up in Coke vs. Pepsi battles," By CAROLINE BOSCHMAN, March 23, 2005
      Read Article
  • University of Michigan
    • The Michigan Daily, "Editorial: Save the students — Review board should keep students on," April 5 2005
      Read Editorial
    • The Michigan Daily, "Board fears bias in final Coke decision," By Breeana Hare, Daily Staff Reporter, March 31, 2005
      Read Article

    University of Michigan "Killer Coke Carnivale"

13. From Colombia
Communique from Javier Correa; "URGENT ACTION: PARAMILITARY OPERATION AGAINST SINALTRAINAL"
Read Communique

14. Coke and Health

  • The San Diego Union-Tribune, "New soda sales bans are debated," By Blanca Gonzalez, April 1, 2005
    Read Article
  • The Sacramento Bee, "Nutritionists seek soda ban in Pa. schools," By Martha Raffaele, March 26, 2005
    Read Article
  • Portsmouth Herald, "'Frankenfoods' farms?," by Kathleen D. Bailey
    Read Article
    ("Coca-Cola is made with genetically modified corn syrup," he said. "The corn is grown with genetically modified strains. It's cheaper.")

15. Take Actions Against Coke!

16. 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 stopkillercoke(at)aol.com with your name and city-state/province-country for our database so that we can contact you when there are events in your area.

And please don't forget to mobilize for the annual Coca-Cola shareholders' meeting.


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