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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke | Update March 3, 2007

Landslide Votes Ban Coke Products

Since our last newsletter, sent out Monday, we've had Campaign victories that we would like to share with campaigners.

1. Trinity College, Ireland, Students Vote to Dump Coke in a Landslide Victory

In 2004 and 2005, Trinity College, the oldest college in Ireland with 15,000 students, held two referenda, both resulting in close victories for the Killer Coke Campaign causing Student Union-controlled shops to stop selling Coke products. The Coca-Cola Co. this year instigated a third referendum in an attempt to roll back the campaign's victory.

This attempt by Coke failed by a larger vote than in the first two referenda. The vote was 63% to ban Coke from Trinity College's Student Union-controlled shops to 37% against.:

Trinity Students Vote to Boycott Coke — 2007

2004
2005
2007
For Coke Boycott
1816
1926
2029
Against Coke Boycott
1680
1737
1199
Margin of victory
136
186
830
Total Valid Poll
3,496
3,663
3,226
% for Boycott
51.9%
52.6%
62.9%

The statement released by the Boycott Killer Coke campaign at Trinity stated:

Trinity Students vote in landslide in favour of Coke Boycott

"Trinity Students have voted in a landslide victory for the boycott of Coca-Cola products due to the murder of Coke workers and trade unionists in Colombia. Since 2004, the Trinity Student Union-controlled shops have ceased to sell all Coca-Cola products. Over 2,000 students voted in support of the boycott & the largest number of Trinity students ever to support the boycott.

"This is the 3rd time that students in Trinity have voted against selling Coke products and in favour of human rights. This is also the largest ever vote by Trinity students in favour of the boycott & showing that the campaign is growing rapidly in strength. Since 2004, over 34 colleges around the world together with several trade unions have now joined this campaign. It is time for Coca-Cola to clean up its act in Colombia. This campaign will continue to grow until Coke respects the right to join a union.

"This is a clear message from Trinity students to the Trinity College authorities to stop selling Coke. It is unacceptable that the college continues to ignore the democratic wishes of the students and we are calling on them to immediately cut all contracts with Coca-Cola. Colombia Coke workers have been tortured, intimidated, threatened, kidnapped and killed simply for joining a trade union. It is time that Trinity College ceases to be associated with such human rights abuses."

Coke had also been kicked off two additional campuses in Ireland - University College Dublin, the largest university in Ireland, and National College of Art and Design. The loss of these schools is particularly painful for Coke since their CEO E. Neville Isdell is a native of Ireland.

2. Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania

In our February 26 newsletter, we wrote: "I am pleased to announce that Bryn Mawr College kicked Coke today at our biannual plenary." Now, we can announce the vote — 67% of those voting, passed the resolution to ban Coke from Bryn Mawr.

Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania has about 1,800 students (undergraduates and graduates) and about 150 faculty. 1,378 are undergraduates (2006-7 enrollment), who can vote in the plenary. A simple majority of those present is required to pass each plenary resolution; however, a quorum of 410 people must be reached before a vote can take place.

The results of the vote for the resolution to kick Coke were as following: For: 259, Against: 126, Abstain: 107 - a better than 67% vote in favor of kicking Coke off campus.

These two landslide victories for the Campaign sends a message to Coke - the Campaign is getting greater support throughout the world.

Congratulations Trinity and Bryn Mawr students!