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Stop Killer Coke Update May 1, 2008

What a Great Month for the Campaign!

Contents of the Newsletter

  1. 1. Coke Critics Dominate Coca-Cola Annual Shareholders' Meeting
  2. 2. Campus Updates
    1. a. A Second Big Victory at New York University: Coke Ban Upheld
    2. b. Cardiff University, UK
    3. c. Castleknock Community College, Ireland, Becomes Coke-Free
    4. d. Chabot College, California, Dumps Coke
    5. e. City University of New York (CUNY)
      1. 1. University Student Senate Votes 21-0 to Support Ban of Coke on All Campuses
      2. 2. Baruch College
      3. 3. John Jay College of Criminal Justice
    6. f. Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts-NECN-TV newscast
    7. g. Columbia University, New York City
    8. h. Guilford College, North Carolina, Removes Coke from Campus
    9. i. Indiana University
    10. j. Ohio State University
      1. 1-Audio of Debate between OSU Students and Coke Reps
      2. 2-CBS Channel 10-TV newscast
      3. 3- Students call on political leaders to help oust Coke from OSU
      4. 4-Luis Adolfo Cardona Speaks Out Against Coca-Cola
    11. k. State University of New York (SUNY)
      1. 1. Letter to Legislators
      2. 2. Letter from NYS Comptroller's Office Re: Responsible Vendors
      3. 3. SUNY Albany
      4. 4. SUNY Stony Brook
    12. l. University of Vermont-- WCAX-TV newscast
  3. 3. Large Unions in Canada Officially Back Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
    1. a. OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees Union), Largest
    2. Provincial Union Votes to Become Coke-Free
    3. b. USW Local 1976, Canada, "Will support the work of the
    4. Stop Killer Coke Campaign"
  4. 4. New Book by Ann Aurelia Lopez on Farmworkers' Struggles | Builds Case Against Killer Coke
  5. 5. Park Slope Food Coop Removes Bottled Water from Shelves
  6. 6. Demonstrators Protest NYS Sen. Sabini Event Sponsored by Coke

1. Coke Critics Dominate Coca-Cola Annual Shareholders' Meeting

Once again, the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke joined Polaris Institute, the India Resource Center, Corporate Accountability International, the Teamsters union, B. Wardlaw, college students, Students for a Free Tibet and other critics of The Coca-Cola Co. at the company's April 16 annual shareholders meeting in Wilmington, Delaware.

Jared Abbott, Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
(AP Photo/Bradley C Bower)

Ray Rogers; Journalist Mark Thomas; Ed Potter, Coke's Director
of Global Relations, and Coke's Senior VP Thomas Mattia
talking prior to the annual meeting.

On the agenda this year was a resolution proposed by B. Wardlaw, a large Coca-Cola shareholder, which called for:

"Section 4. Board Committee on Human Rights. There is established a Board Committee on Human Rights, which is created and authorized to review the implications of company policies, above and beyond matters of legal compliance, for the human rights of individuals in the US and worldwide."

As expected this resolution was aggressively opposed by the Company's executives and board, first trying to prevent it from appearing on the Company's proxy statement and then strongly opposing it leading up to and at the meeting. However, even though the proposal only received 3.7% of the shareholders' vote, that's enough for it to automatically appear on the 2009 annual meeting agenda.

Those who came to the meeting to raise issues of concern were limited to statements of two minutes in an effort to stifle dissent. In 2006, speakers were allowed three minutes. Speakers focused on abuses in Colombia and India, privatization of water and Coke's refusal to address human rights abuses relating to China, the Olympics, the torch relay, Tibet and Sudan. (Watch the Webcast of the meeting.)

Ray Rogers Statement

Our director Ray Rogers spoke about the sham of the ILO "investigation" and how Coke has tried to avoid any real third-party investigation of past and present labor abuses in Colombia. His statement follows:

"Before I cast my vote, I want to know if the new board nominees will continue the same irresponsible policies of the present board and continue to lie to shareholders, the media and the public?

"Mr. Isdell, you are on record stating that the International Labor Organization had agreed to conduct "an investigation of past and present labor practices" of its bottlers in Colombia in response to allegations of systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders.

"Yet four, I repeat, four top officials of the ILO have completely contradicted Coke's assertions, including Sally Paxton who Coke said in April 2006 was in charge of the so- called "investigation." Ms. Paxton told me straight out, that the ILO never agreed to conduct such an investigation and will not.

"In a letter I received on Monday, Kari Tapiola of the ILO also made it clear that the ILO would not be conducting any such investigation.

"Additionally, the ILO could never be considered as an independent third party investigator when you consider the organization's intimate ties to Ed Potter, Coca-Cola's head of Global Labor Relations. Not only does Mr. Potter serve on the ILO's Applications of Conventions and Recommendations Committee, but for many years, he has also been the head spokesperson for the entire Employers Group, a powerful role within the ILO structure that allows him to promote the interests of big business and Coca-Cola in particular.

"How do you explain what happened at the ILO meeting in June. The Sydney Morning Herald reported:

" 'Employers led by a Coca-Cola executive [Ed Potter] stopped the International Labour Organisation examining violations of workplace rights in Colombia.'

"The article goes on to describe how Mr. Potter orchestrated and led the charge by the ILO's business sector to veto Colombia as being on a list of countries to be monitored by the ILO for labor and human rights abuses.

"Why do I bring up Coke's ILO public relations scam? Because tomorrow, New York University is voting whether to allow Coke back on campus based on false information that the ILO is actually conducting a legitimate investigation. You, Ed Potter, Coke board member and NYU trustee Barry Diller and Mr. Tapiola all know it's a big lie.

Here, during Mr. Isdell's response, there was an interaction between Rogers and the CEO in which Rogers made it clear that Mr. Isdell was continuing to lie about the so-called ILO "investigation."

Report of the Shareholders Meeting from the India Resource Center
Read Report
"China, Olympics, Tibet Torture, Coca-Cola Profits, India Resource Center, April 28, 2008
Read Article

Later, the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke's Lew Friedman spoke about how Coke's brand name value had lost more than $2 billion over the past two years and congratulated Majora Carter, a torch bearer in San Francisco chosen by Coke, for her courage in pulling out a small Tibetan flag as she was carrying the Olympic torch ("A Chinese paramilitary squad escorting the torch quickly snatched it from her, and cops pushed her into the crowd." Daily News, 4/11/08). Friedman rejected inaccuracies that Coca-Cola and Mr. Isdell had brought up about unionized labor in Colombia. He said that the figures Coke publicizes as representing the percentage of unionized Coke workers in Colombia is misleading and inaccurate since most workers in Coke's bottling plants are not considered by Coke to be "employees." They are deemed subcontracted, "flexible" workers who wear Coke uniforms, but are not allowed to join the union. Friedman pointed out that in 2007 two groups of subcontracted workers were fired after joining SINALTRAINAL.
Read more about Coke's misleading statements regarding unionized Coke workers in Colombia in Point 6 of the Campaign's "10 Critical Talking Points."

Isdell was clearly annoyed at the mention of Coke's loss in brand name value and the divestment by TIAA-CREF's CREF Social Choice Account of Coke stock. He then claimed 35% unionization by Coke in Colombia, while only 3% of Colombian's workers belong to unions.

At this point, Ray Rogers raised a point of order. He said: "I want to clarify that you, Mr. Isdell said that 35% of Coke workers in Colombia are unionized. Is that correct?"

Mr. Isdell responded: "That is correct!" Thirty five percent!"

Rogers responded: "That is a lie!"

Mr. Isdell said: "That's the statement I made."

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke provided proxies for Tibetans to attend the annual meeting. Two of the Tibetans spoke taking the position that Coke should use its influence to ensure that the Olympic torch is not carried through Tibet. "This will cause bloodshed!" Isdell responded with spin, causing Lebsang Choephel, whose brother was killed in Tibet last month, to shout: "You are counting money! We are counting lives!"

Read the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke on "Coca-Cola, Darfur, Tibet & the China Olympics"

Journalist Michael Blanding speaking with
Tibetan speakers Dorje Lama and Lebsang Choephel
outside the annual meeting.

Outside, there was a demonstration of about 150 Tibetans, also demanding that Coke use its influence to stop the Olympic torch from going through Tibet.

Photo by Bradley C. Bower/Associated Press

Ray speaking to Tibetan protestors outside the annual meeting.

Ray Rogers and Mark Thomas holding a Tibetan flag presented
to the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke from Students for a Free Tibet.

Ray is wearing a Lama Kata Blessing around his neck presented
to him by a Tibetan Lama.

Report of Shareholders Meeting from Corporate Accountability International (with photos)

Statement by University of Albany, SUNY, grad student Jackie Hayes

"Hi, my name is Jackie Hayes. I am a proxy for Joseph Klinkov of 200 shares. I am also a doctoral student in the Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino Studies department at SUNY Albany and a member of Students for Workers' Rights.

"An article published in the Economic Times on March 28, 2008 stated that according to Coke's own study, the TERI report, the Coca-Cola Company is "responsible for exacerbating water crises [in India]." The article also stated that, "Coca-Cola has not respected the rights of farmers and has exploited the groundwater to such an extent in some areas that thousands of farmers have lost their livelihoods."

"In light of ongoing human rights violations alongside mounting evidence clearly illustrating that the 'Coke side of life' is bringing death and destruction to communities around the world many students, including myself, have been calling on our colleges and universities to sever major contracts with Coke. In fact, United University Professions (UUP), the union representing over 34,000 faculty on 29 State University of New York campuses passed a resolution urging their chapters to press "for the termination of contracts with Coca-Cola on their campuses."

"I along with a broad coalition of students and faculty at SUNY Albany will continue to urge our University to sever all ties with such a disreputable corporation and we'll also be working to kick Coke off of other colleges and universities throughout the SUNY system, which includes 64 campuses and 367,000 students. We hope to be the 49th or 50th university to kick Coke off at SUNY Albany.

"So far the Coca-Cola Company's response to very serious allegations of human rights abuses has been a series of public relations schemes which are laughable, if not downright insulting, and do nothing but further illustrate Coca-Cola's reckless disregard for its workers, their communities, and the environment. The Coca-Cola Company can no longer use the veil of PR and denial to deal with these very serious issues, the company must confront the damage it has caused to communities across the globe."


CEO Isdell, obviously angered, responded to Jackie after cutting her off at exactly two minutes: "I am actually insulted that you say that The Coca-Cola Co. brings death and destruction around the world."

Well done, Ms. Hayes!

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2. Campus Updates

a. A Second Big Victory at New York University: Coke Ban Upheld

This was at least the third time that Coke and university bureaucrats tried to bring Coke back to a campus after students had successfully campaigned to remove all Coke products. The first was University of Michigan, the second Swarthmore College and the third New York University.

At University of Michigan, students won a ban of Coke products with a vote of their Dispute Review Board (DRB) after a long-fought campaign by a coalition of some 20 campus organizations. Executive VP and CFO Tim Slottow made his decision to bring Coke back to campus, unilaterally circumventing the democratic decision of the DRB and the student organizations. Slottow had been provided false information by Coke regarding an "investigation" by the International Labor Organization, which he did not take the time or have the inclination to investigate. Slottow showed himself to be nothing more than a cheerleader for Coke, not an impartial administrator who would take the time to seek the truth.

At Swarthmore College, U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff, a member of the college's Board of Managers, unsuccessfully attempted to reverse the administration's decision to "Kick Coke."

At NYU, the nation's largest private university, Arthur Tannenbaum, Chair of the University's Public Affairs Committee, faced a more democratic process and had to go through a debate and a vote by the University-wide Senate. NYU students and alumni working with the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, did a terrific job!
The resolution to reinstate Coke lost and Coke products are still banned from NYU. Congratulations! It was terrific working with a coalition of campaigners from the past and present.

We must monitor the situation at all schools closely. Coke's friends in high places, such as NYU's Tannenbaum and Barry Diller; Michigan's Slottow, and Swarthmore's Rakoff, who would circumvent the truth and their schools' commitment to ethical practices, will certainly try again to promote the interests of The Coca-Cola Co.

NYU News Stories

Washington Square News, "Vitamin Water ousted at NYU," By Jane C. Timm, April 30, 2008
Read Article
"For just under a year, NYU has been selling the Coca-Cola product VitaminWater in dining halls and cafeterias, going against its own Coke product ban which has Been in effect since December 2005. Glaceau, the company that produces VitaminWater, was purchased by Coke in May 2007. After an inquiry from WSN, university spokesman John Beckman responded by saying that the university would have VitaminWater off the shelves by the start of the summer term."

Washington Square News, "U. Senate, we commend you for upholding Coke ban," By Jeff Olshansky, April 24, 2008
Read Article
"Coke's request that NYU lift the ban demonstrates that the ban applies pressure on Coke to change."

Washington Square News, "Letter: Coke gives no reason for NYU to lift ban on products," By John Patrick Leary, Graduate School of Arts and Science, April 21, 2008
Read Letter
"...[W]hile doing research in Colombia in 2003, I had the opportunity to meet many Coke workers and their families. They were exceptionally courageous; many lived under constant bodyguard. I became friendly with a Coke union activist named Efrain Guerrero. Shortly after I left, his brother-in-law and nephew were machine-gunned in their living room, killed to intimidate Efrain. Coke, his employer, should be held accountable for crimes like these. So far, it has not been."

Washington Square News (New York University), "U. Senate upholds ban on Coke: After long debate, senators reject resolution to bring company's drinks back on campus," Sergio Hernandez, April 18, 2008
Read Article
"But supporters of the ban have criticized the ILO's investigation, questioning its neutrality and efficacy. Specifically, they have accused the organization of having a conflict of interest because Ed Potter, Coca-Cola's director of global relations, is also a long-time member of the ILO...Senators also criticized the investigation's speed. It was originally announced in early 2006, spurring the University of Michigan to revoke its own Coca-Cola ban. But last year, the Michigan Daily reported that the ILO had fallen behind on all of its deadlines for the investigation."
Read more about the ILO "investigation" in Point 7 of the Campaign's "10 Critical Talking Points."

Washington Square News, "With real change, NYU is a paper tiger," WSN Editorial Board, April 15, 2008
Read Editorial
"We believe the university should not repeal the ban - as symbolic or as small as it may seem, it sends a message that NYU will not support a company with dirty labor practices."

Washington Square News, "Coke [does not] agrees to investigation, but workers still abused," By Crystal Yakacki, April 10, 2008
Read Article
"Coke has been claiming for over two years now that the ILO would do an investigation, but the company has yet to even set a timeline or terms for this investigation. In April 2006, the University of Michigan reinstated Coke products on their campus, calling for Coke to complete an assessment of the conditions in by March 31, 2007. Coke missed that deadline, and another year has passed. It is clear that an investigation will not take place even by the ILO, Coke's preferred choice, unless increased pressure is put on Coca- Cola."

Washington Square News, "Coke ban may be lifted by summer, By Sergio Hernandez, February 11, 2008
Read Article
"Coca-Cola bottles could find their way back into campus vending machines by the end of the semester, administrators said at Thursday's University Senate meeting...

"But Ray Rogers, director of the National Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, lashed out at the investigation, calling it 'yet another scam.' Rogers accused Coca-Cola of a laundry list of labor violations and he questioned the legitimacy of the ILO's investigation. For example, Rogers noted that Ed Potter serves as Coca-Cola's director of global labor relations but also holds a position on the ILO's Applications of Conventions Committee. Rogers also accused the NYU administration of bias because of its ties to the Coca-Cola Company, particularly singling out NYU trustee Barry Diller. Diller, aside from serving on NYU's Board of Trustees, has also served on the Board of Directors for Coca-Cola since 2002."

Correspondence to NYU Re: Case Against Coke

Letter from Campaign Director Ray Rogers to NYU Senate's Public Affairs Committee Chair Arthur Tannenbaum.
Read Letter

Law Students for Economic Justice, NYU's School of Law, Letter, March 1, 2008
Read Letter

NYU's Coke Ban is Still Necessary
Read Statement

Letter from USAS International Campaigns Coordinator Zack Knorr to NYU Senate's Public Affairs Committee Chair Arthur Tannenbaum
Read Letter

Letter from Laura Sedlak, CAS '05, Crystal Yakacki, CAS '05, Erin Keskeny, Tisch '07 to NYU Senate's Public Affairs Committee Chair Arthur Tannenbaum
Read Letter

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b. Cardiff University, UK

Months ago, Senior Lecturer Paul Mason at Cardiff University in the UK contacted us to get posters, stickers, a customized flyer and DVDs to launch a campaign against Coke called "Kick Killer Coke Off Campus." They are now gaining momentum on campus.

We received the following report from their campaign:

"Here are some photos of the "This Funeral Is Brought To You By Coca Cola" demo which we had on Wednesday 16th April at Cardiff University [UK] as part of our Kick Killer Coke Off Campus campaign.

"We marched through the main university building, complete with a purpose built coffin, sprayed up with the slogan and tombstones to represent the trade union members who were killed in Colombia. We congregated outside the student union where flyers were handed out — there were a number of interesting discussions with students who pledged their support, but also their ignorance of Coke's crimes. We had around 50 people attend and students taking photos and a film — which I will send on when its been cut. We also had the student union President and Vice President come out to speak to us about our campaign. The Cardiff AGM is in February 2009, which we are building towards. We also intend to replace Coke with Ubuntu.



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c. Castleknock Community College, Ireland, Becomes Coke-Free

"My name is Andrew Wielens at Castleknock Community College (Ireland). With the tireless efforts of one of the school's teachers, we have already successfully boycotted Coca-Cola from the school with the removal of all Coca-Cola products from the vending machines and cafeteria and banned from classrooms. Please put us on the list of Coke-Free institutions."

Castleknock becomes at least the fourth campus in Ireland to remove Coke products.

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d. Chabot College, California, Dumps Coke
Chabot College in Hayward, California, has a total enrollment of 14,441 students, employing 183 full time faculty and 357 part time faculty. The Campaign received the following email from a Chabot student campaigner:

"Hi, it's Janet Covarrubias from Chabot College in Hayward, California. I have GREAT news! All Coca-Cola vending machines were taken off of our campus! From when we started the anti-Coke campaign at Chabot, it took about two and a half semesters to get Coke off our campus. All the Coke vending machines have been replaced with Pepsi machines... Chabot had made it clear to us that they could not take Coke off the campus because they had just renewed a five-year contract with them. But, then I saw them carrying away all the empty Coke machines...I am a very happy girl...

"I just want to take the time to thank you for everything that you have done for us and to let you know that we have succeeded in clearing coke off our campus."

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e. City University of New York (CUNY)

University Student Senate Votes 21-0 to Support Ban of Coke on All Campuses

On Sunday, April 13, the University Student Senate for the entire City University of New York, representing more than 460,000 full and part-time students on 23 campuses in New York City, voted 21 to 0 to support the following resolution. The resolution must have 24 votes to become official and will be voted on again. The student government leadership is working to make that happen. Meanwhile, individual campuses are also working with the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke to spearhead resolutions and campaigns to make their campuses Coke-Free.

Resolution to Kick Coke Off CUNY Campuses

Whereas, in 2001 and 2006, lawsuits were filed in the United States against Coca -Cola and its bottlers in Colombia charging that the bottlers "contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilized extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders."

Whereas, the lawsuits were filed on behalf of SINALTRAINAL - the major union representing Coca-Cola workers in Colombia - several of its members and the survivors of Isidro Gil and Adolfo de Jesus Munera, two of its murdered officers.

Whereas, it is well documented that human rights abuses that have festered at Coke's bottling plants for years in Colombia are a replay of what occurred at Coke's facilities in Guatemala in the '70s and '80s. A 1987 publication, Soft Drink, Hard Labour, by the Latin America Bureau in England states: "For nine years, the 450 workers at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Guatemala City fought a battle with Coca-Cola for their jobs, their trade union and their lives...Three General Secretaries of their union were murdered and five other workers killed. Four more were kidnapped and have disappeared. Against all the odds they survived thanks to their own extraordinary courage...A huge international campaign of protests and boycotts was central to their struggle. As a result, the Coca-Cola workers forced concessions from one of the world's largest multinational giants and kept the Guatemalan trade union movement alive through a dark age of government repression."

Whereas, a fact-finding delegation to Colombia in 2004 led by New York City Council Member Hiram Monserrate, which included representatives of the CUNY community, issued a report concluding that Coca-Cola is "complicit in human rights abuses in Colombia" and that its "complicity is deepened by its repeated pattern of bringing criminal charges against union activists who have spoken out about the company's collusion with the paramilitaries"

Whereas, the report further concludes "that Coca-Cola bears responsibility for the campaign of terror leveled at its workers is unavoidable. The company has pressured workers to resign their union membership and contractual rights, and fired workers who refused to do so...Most troubling to the delegation were the persistent allegations that paramilitary violence against workers was done with the knowledge of and likely under the direction of company managers..."

Whereas, PSC-CUNY, the union that represents CUNY faculty and staff has officially called for a boycott of Coke products, as has the 585,000 member New York State United Teachers.

Whereas, at least 46 schools including CUNY Law School, Queensborough Community College, CUNY's Joseph Murphy Institute, New York University, Manhattanville College, Union Theological Seminary and Rutgers University, have kicked Coke off their campuses.

Whereas, The Coca-Cola Company was dropped from the Broad Market Social Index (BMSI) list of socially responsible companies prepared by KLD Research & Analytics, Inc., an independent investment research firm that is considered a world leader in defining corporate responsibility standards.

Whereas, it was reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (7/19/06) that "KLD based its decision on a number of issues-labor and human rights in Colombia, environmental issues in India..."

Whereas, in July 2006, the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) divested 1.25 million shares of Coca-Cola Co. stock and has banned further investments in its $9 billion CREF Social Choice Account, the nation's largest socially screened fund for individual investors, because The Coca-Cola Co. does not meet TIAA-CREF's standards as a socially responsible company.

Whereas, Coca-Cola's largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), which provides Coca-Cola beverages to our university, shares directors with Coca-Cola FEMSA, Colombia's largest bottler and a defendant in the human rights abuse lawsuits.

Whereas, in July 2007, CCE was also dropped from the BMSI and CREF Social Choice Account because CCE does not meet their standards as a socially responsible company.

Whereas, the Coca-Cola Co. opposed and defeated the proxy resolution submitted by the New York City Employees' Retirement System and the New York City Teachers' Retirement System requesting that The Coca-Cola Co. "sponsor the sending of an independent delegation of inquiry to Colombia to examine the charges of collusion in anti-union violence that have been made against officials of Coca-Cola's bottling plants in that country and that the delegation includes representatives from U.S. and Colombian human rights organizations."

Whereas, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on June 6, 2007: "Employers led by Coca-Cola executive [Ed Potter] stopped the International Labour Organization of the United Nations examining violations of workplace rights in Colombia..." Potter appears to be working to shield Colombia and Coca-Cola from any real scrutiny at a time when the Colombian government and multinational corporations are getting unwanted attention for their ties to paramilitary death squads that prey on workers and their unions.

Whereas, campaigns against Coca-Cola are growing worldwide because of labor, human rights and/or environmental abuses in Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Venezuela and other countries.

Whereas, it has been reported that The Coca-Cola Co. has been accused of benefiting from prison labor in China (BBC News, 5/21/07).

Whereas, the Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises continue to be involved in a number of racial discrimination lawsuits and in 2000, after years of denying racial discrimination, the Coca-Cola Company paid $192.5 million, the largest racial discrimination settlement in U.S. history.

Whereas, Coca-Cola has been criticized for massive water exploitation and discriminatory workplace practices in Mexico and the Chicago Tribune (10/30/06) reported, " many U.S. corporations - including Coca-Cola...are engaging in hiring practices that appear to violate their U.S. fair employment policies." It noted, " Job seekers [in Mexico] considered too old, too chunky or too dark are screened out by companies that sometimes specify the ideal candidate's marital status, height, weight, tone of voice, even the part of town in which the person should reside..."

Whereas, Coca-Cola operates in the Sudan where its factory, according to The New York Times (11/24/06), "churns out 100,000 bottles of Coke, Sprite and Fanta per hour " and has paid fines for violating U.S. sanctions.

Whereas, Coca-Cola, with a public relations blitz, continues to try to cover up its over-exploitation and pollution of scarce water resources in India and the hardship it has inflicted on many people and communities.

Whereas, the Environmental Law Research Center in Geneva issued a report in May 2007 concluding that "the availability of good quality water for drinking purposes and agriculture [in India] has been affected dangerously due to the activity of the Company [The Coca-Cola Co.]. Apart from that, the Company had also polluted the agricultural lands by depositing hazardous wastes. All these point to the gross violation of the basic human rights, that is, the right to life, right to livelihood and the violation of the pollution control laws."

Whereas, one Coca-Cola plant has been shut down since 2004 due to protests and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (12/16/07) reported that India's Kerala State Pollution Control Board sent a letter to Coke's India head office in September 2007 "accusing the company of polluting with cadmium and asking executives why they should not face criminal prosecution."

Whereas, on Nov. 19, 2007, a documentary film broadcast nationally in England highlighted Coke's human rights and environmental abuses in Colombia and India, its offensive history of racial discrimination, and how Coke benefits from hazardous child labor cutting sugar cane illegally in El Salvador.

Whereas, after the decision was made to remove Coke beverages from Smith College in May 2007, Smith President Carol Christ issued a press release stating:

"This is not a decision reached lightly. Smith's relationship with Coca-Cola spans some five decades...As a private college with a public conscience, Smith College takes issues of human rights and environmental sustainability very seriously. Social responsibility is a core value of the college, one we aspire to reflect in our educational mission and in our campus operations. In severing our ties with the Coca-Cola Corporation, Smith joins other institutions and organizations around the world in urging Coca-Cola to take significant steps toward more responsible business practices across all realms of its operations."

Resolved, that the University Student Senate holds itself accountable to international human rights standards and will hold all companies that do business with U.S.S. also accountable to such standards.

Resolved, that the University Student Senate will ban all Coke products from all its meetings and events.

Resolved, that University Student Senate calls on all CUNY campuses to hold The Coca-Cola Company accountable by removing all Coke machines and banning the sale of Coke products.

Resolved, that the University Student Senate will publicize this resolution through a press release to all campus and local media outlets.

Resolved, that until The Coca-Cola Company can prove that it has taken genuine remedial actions to become a responsible corporate citizen, the call for this ban on Coca- Cola products at all CUNY campuses will remain in effect.

New York City Council Member Hiram Monserrate, who led a fact-finding delegation to Colombia in 2004 to investigate allegations of human rights abuses at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia was a guest speaker at the meeting and reported and fielded questions on what the delegation uncovered. The delegation issued a scathing report in April 2004 stating: "Coca-Cola is complicit in human rights abuses of its workers in Colombia" and "bears responsibility for the campaign of terror leveled at its workers." The report pointed out that "physical access that paramilitaries have had to Coca-Cola bottling plants is impossible without company knowledge and/or tacit approval." (See full report)

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2. Baruch College

The Ticker, Baruch College, City University of New York, "Baruch plays kick the (Coke) can," By Anna Aulova, April 7, 2008
Read Article
"According to Under Graduate Student Government President Anthony Hernandez, the chairperson for University State Senate, Robert Ramos, will be visiting Baruch soon to discuss the Coca-Cola boycott, which will ultimately decide the future of Coca-Cola products on campus. 'If the USS, which has the primary say on campus activities, votes to kick the product off campus, Coca-Cola products will not be welcome here any longer,' he explained."

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3. John Jay College of Criminal Justice

John Jay College of Criminal Justice passed a resolution with the same Whereases that was voted on at the CUNY-wide University Student Senate (See above), but with different "Resolveds." The Resolveds are below:

Resolved, that John Jay College Of Criminal Justice Student Government Association calls on all CUNY campuses to hold The Coca-Cola Company accountable by removing all Coke machines and banning the sale of Coke products.

Resolved, that the John Jay College Of Criminal Justice Student Government Association will ban all Coke products from all its meetings and events.

Resolved, that the John Jay College Of Criminal Justice Student Government Association will demand and actively pursue the banning and removal of all Coke products from John Jay College Of Criminal Justice's campus.

Resolved, that ban will remain in effect until The Coca-Cola Company takes appropriate measures to address the situation in its Colombian facilities and worldwide, including:

  • Denouncing the violence that is occurring and has occurred in the name of Coca- Cola in Colombia
  • Reinforcing Coca-Cola's public stance against violence by directing all bottling plants in Colombia to stop dealing with any armed groups that are participating in violence or threats against trade unionists
  • Implementing a human rights policy that applies directly to its Colombian bottlers
  • Establishing a complaint and reporting process which will allow union members to report violations occurring in Coca-Cola bottling plants to an official of the company who will then investigate and take swift remedial action against these violations
  • Coca-Cola and its Colombian bottlers must submit to a independent investigation by investigative bodies agreed to by SINALTRAINAL and must remove managers linked to paramilitary groups
  • Providing compensation to the known victims of violence at Coca-Cola bottling plants.

Resolved, that the John Jay College Of Criminal Justice Student Government Association will publicize this resolution through a press release to all campus and local media outlets.

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f. Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts

NECN-TV, "Coca-Cola accused of human rights abuses," Clark University, Worcester, Mass., April 9, 2008
See Video and Read Article
"With musical acts and signs, a group of Clark University students drew attention to the center of campus Wednesday hoping to get their message across. The group, called Campus Accountability Now, is against the distribution of Coca-Cola products, accusing the company of human rights abuses."

Students at Clark University accuse Coca-Cola of human rights abuses

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g. Columbia University, New York City

We received the following report from Columbia University's Elissa Verrilli:

"On Tuesday, April 15, the Columbia University chapter of USAS (called SEEJ — Students for Environmental and Economic Justice,) threw a Killer Coke Kegger for the Columbia community to raise awareness about the atrocities Coca-Cola is responsible for and to gain support for a campus-wide Killer Coke Campaign. The goal of the event was to introduce students to Coca-Cola brand alternatives that could potentially be implemented at the university instead of Coke.

"We set up the festivities on College Walk, the university's pedestrian hub, complete with two root beer kegs, root beer pong, and a plethora of Coke alternative samples. We introduced brands such as Lipton, Snapple, Newman's Own, GUS (Grown Up Soda), Jones' Soda, and many more. Our tables were adorned with a fantastic hand-crafted Killer Coke polar bear and plenty of information regarding Coca-Cola issues. At the Kegger, we collected signatures for a petition to help communicate our demands to Columbia administrators.

"The event was highly successful and hugely fun. Then again, who can resist a Kegger on a beautiful April day?"

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h. Guilford College, North Carolina, Removes Coke from Campus

Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, draws on Quaker and liberal arts traditions has 3,000 students and faculty. Coke was kicked off campus early this year, but remained in the bookstore which was under a separate contract. Efforts are in progress to get Coke out of the bookstore, as well. "President Chabotar and other senior staff members conferred and agreed that some of Coca-Cola's corporate practices were not in line with Guilford's core values and mission." Two reports follow:

Ty Buckner, Director of College Relations submitted the following:

"After thorough consideration including input from students and others on campus, Guilford is preparing to transfer its soda vending and pouring rights from Coca-Cola to Pepsi-Cola effective Jan. 1, 2008. According to available information, Coca-Cola has held the rights since the 1970s.

The following information is being provided so that members of the community can have a full understanding of the process and offer final comments before the new arrangement is confirmed. Guilford is very unusual among colleges and universities in not only soliciting input and holding multiple open forums on major campus issues but also publishing a full draft of many decisions and policy changes for more community comment before final consideration and possible implementation.

In April 2007, a group of students made a presentation to members of senior staff concerning certain corporate practices of the Coca-Cola Company. Members of senior staff and President Kent Chabotar agreed to consider the issues the students raised over summer break and reconvene in the fall to discuss various options.

Meanwhile, Pepsi-Cola approached Guilford in August about the opportunity to become the college's exclusive beverage provider. At that point, rather than make a decision, President Chabotar decided to wait for the semester to begin so as to gather community (specifically student) input before making a final decision.

Students and staff worked together to schedule three open forums over the first three months this semester. Forty-four students attended the first forum and a variety of providers were suggested in addition to Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. An independent student study group worked to formalize a list of companies for consideration.

The second forum took place at the beginning of October. This forum served to generate a list of pertinent questions covering social responsibility issues and capability of delivery issues. Nine students attended the second forum. Questions were e-mailed to Coca- Cola, Pepsi, Jones Soda, RC Cola, Blue Sky, Hansen's Natural, GuS Grown-Up Soda and Santa Cruz Organic/R.W. Knudsen Oct. 12. These providers were asked to respond to the questions or to let the college know if they were interested in working with Guilford by Oct. 22. Two companies responded by the deadline: Coca-Cola (after requesting and receiving an extension) and Pepsi.

After the Oct. 22 deadline passed, Dean for Campus Life Aaron Fetrow and students who attended the forums made numerous phone calls to the companies that did not respond. These calls did not yield any further information from the above-listed providers. In fact, one of the providers referred Guilford to a contact who was not longer employed by their company. This lack of response raised serious questions about the ability of these companies to provide timely service to an account when difficulties arise.

A final open forum was advertised for the beginning of November to discuss the responses submitted by Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and four students attended. President Chabotar and other senior staff members conferred and agreed that some of Coca-Cola's corporate practices were not in line with Guilford's core values and mission.

Further, it was determined that Pepsi:

  • Would offer better overall service to the college in terms of soda vending and pouring
  • Would be more in line with Guilford's commitments to social responsibility and environmental sustainability
  • Bottles beverages locally (in both Winston-Salem and Raleigh), which contributes to the North Carolina economy by providing jobs for North Carolinians
  • Has the ability to provide a wide range of products and possess the ability to service equipment quickly when problems occur

The college is confident that Pepsi and Guilford can form a strong partnership in the coming years.


Guilford plans to drop Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Nestle
By Eric Ginsburg
The Guilfordian
November 30, 2007

"After a numerous student initiatives and three open forums, the college has announced its plan to switch the school's soda, juice, and coffee suppliers beginning Jan.

Currently, Guilford holds an exclusive contract with Coca-Cola for all soda and juice products on campus, with the exception of products in the school bookstore. As of now, Nestle provides the coffee in the dining hall and Starbucks in Grill 155.

The college plans to switch to Pepsi-Cola, which will buy out Coke's exclusive contract for soda and juice, and Green Mountain, which will provide fair trade, organic, shade-grown coffee in the dining hall and the Grill 155.

According to a public statement by the college placed in the Guilford Beacon on Nov. 16, the school began considering alternative beverage suppliers after the Sodexho Independent Study Group brought up concerns in a presentation last April on Coca-Cola, Sodexho, and Starbucks.

Coca-Cola has been widely criticized for their alleged involvement with the assassinations of over half a dozen union leaders who worked at Coke's bottling plants in Colombia. Since 1990, Coke continues to deny any connection to the eight murders. In addition, the Coca-Cola Company is one of the three largest water privatizing entities in the world, restricting access to water and allegedly poisoning local water supplies around their plants in India.

During the first open beverage forum, which was the most highly attended, students rejected the notion of switching to Pepsi because of its similar corporate background. Pepsi-Cola is also one of the three largest water privatizers worldwide.

Referring to a recent conflict in the Indian state of Kerala, ecologist and scholar Vandana Shiva explained in her book "Earth Democracy," "The local movement of women in Plachimada triggered recognition of people's community rights to water in law, while also triggering movements against the 87 other Coca-Cola and Pepsi plants where water is being depleted and polluted."

However, after student research into alternatives, Dean for Campus Life Aaron Fetrow contacted a number of smaller, seemingly more ethical companies by e-mail to see if they were viable alternatives to Pepsi or Coca-Cola.

Only Pepsi and Coke responded to the questions, which were generated in the second forum, but a number of other companies reported never receiving the e-mail. Students contacted some of the companies by phone and requested they call Fetrow to express interest in the contract. Though company representatives told students they were interested, Fetrow maintained that none followed through and called the college.

"If anything, this lack of response worried me as it would relate to how the company would respond to service calls and needs we may have on campus if they were the next beverage provider," Fetrow explained.

Citing the lack of alternatives, a better match for "social responsibility and environmental sustainability," service, and the fact that Pepsi is based in North Carolina, Guilford College announced their plan to switch to Pepsi-Cola.

"Pepsi is just as bad as Coke when in comes to human rights abuses and pollution in foreign countries, so I don't think it's the lesser of two evils," said first-year Olivia Bailey. "It still goes against our Quaker principles and ethical procurement policies,"

Once the school contacted Sodexho regarding student concern over coffee, Sodexho offered to switch to Green Mountain, a company they already do business with elsewhere. In addition to being fair trade and organic, Guilford's new coffee will be shade grown, which means that ecosystems have not been destroyed by clear-cutting forest to create coffee fields.

Starbucks was specifically mentioned during the Sodexho Student Research group presentation last April to administrators for their lack of fair trade products and questionable treatment of workers attempting to organize with the Industrial Workers of the World in New York City, Chicago, and Maryland. Nestle is the third of the top three water privatizers internationally and their coffee is not fair trade. Over the years, they have been repeatedly accused of using forced labor for the production of their chocolate. Many students see Green Mountain as more in line with the college's stated values and a significant improvement over Starbucks and Nestle.

"Kicking out major corporations with a strong history of human rights violations, such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Starbucks, is an important step towards a more ethical campus," said Shaina Machlus, who has been involved in the process. "Because colleges and universities are essentially major businesses within themselves, it is of the utmost importance the whole community monitors where our money is being spent."

It is unclear whether the bookstore, currently managed by Follett, will make the switch from Coca-Cola and Starbucks as well, though Vice President for Finance and Administration Jerry Boothby submitted a written request to Follett last week asking that they do so immediately. If Follett does so, the campus-wide switch will be complete.

"When Guilford purchases from a corporation it is investing not only in the corporation but all of its practices as well," Machlus said. "I hope this is only the beginning of continual student input and dedication to ensure more ethical purch

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i. Indiana University

Indiana Daily Student, "No Sweat! protests against Coke," By Sarah Hutchins, February 13, 2008
Read Article
"After six years of marching, chalking and petitioning, members of No Sweat! are optimistic about their campaign to kick Coca-Cola off campus.No Sweat! is the IU chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops, a student group working to combat sweatshops and corporate globalization at a local level.

"In the group's most recent campaign, members are protesting the University's contract with Coca-Cola in response to allegations that the company has been using torture, murder and kidnapping to intimidate their workers at a bottling plant in Colombia, said junior Cole Wehrle, a No Sweat! member. Group members said they believe if the school discontinues its contract, it can send a powerful message to the company."

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j. Ohio State University

Columbus Indymedia, "Debate: Students Against Coke vs Coca-Cola," Ohio State University, April 3, 2008
Listen to Debate
"This is a modern day 'David vs. Goliath' story. Coca-Cola has refused to have a professional vs. professional debate. They will only debate their professionals vs. the non-killercoke student professionals! And the post-debate report is... SUCCESS!!! Students Against Coke soundly defeated Coca-Cola's public relations reps!"

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Channel 10 News (Ohio), "Student Group Wants Ohio State To Dump Coca-Cola Contract," By Brittany Westbrook, April 3, 2008
Read Article
Watch Video
"Harry Lindner, who was a member anti-Coca-Cola group, said the company abuses human and worker rights in places like India, Colombia and El Salvador. 'It's not just about getting rid of Coca-Cola," Lindner said. "It's about cleaning up business practices that are wrong. It's about treating the community with respect.' Eddie Klatka, also a member of the group, said that Coca-Cola exploits children in El Salvador. 'Right now they are using children in sugar cane fields, which most people think child labor is,' Klatka said."

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The Free Press, "Ohio State students call on political leaders to help oust Coke from OSU," By Students Against Coke, Ohio State University, April 3, 2008
Read Article
"OSU is believed to have the largest single university contract in the nation. That contract expires in June. It has been reported that in an exclusive contract arrangement, OSU has received $30 million over the past 10 years. It was also reported in 1999 that Coke received $29 million in revenues in just the first year of the contract. In addition, Coke benefits from free advertising and promotion of its brand name throughout the campus and at sports and other events."

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Luis Adolfo Cardona Speaks Out Against Coca-Cola

Luis Adolfo Cardona of SINALTRAINAL and Camilo Romero speak at Ohio State University's campus on April 2, 2008. This event was sponsored by Students Against Coke. Luis Adolfo Cardona was witness to the paramilitary death squad murder of Isidro Gil on the grounds of the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Carepa, Colombia. Gil was a leader of SINALTRAINAL in Carepa. Cardona was kidnapped by the paramilitaries, but managed to escape and make his way to the United States.

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k. State University of New York (SUNY)

1. Letter to 250 New York State Legislators

Students and faculty at SUNY Albany and SUNY Stony Brook and the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke sent a joint letter to all 250 New York State legislators, members of congress and the executive branch of the state government:
Letter to New York State Legislators

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2. Letter from NYS Comptroller's Office Re: Responsible Vendors

A letter from the New York State Comptroller's office signed by Asst. Comptroller John Mariarty was sent responding to the letter above:
Letter from New York State Comptroller's office

The importance of this letter from the State Comptroller's office is that it states "there is a requirement that all State agencies that enter into contracts evaluate the responsibility of their proposed contractors and only enter into contracts with those that are deemed responsible...For any Coca-Cola contracts that come before us for approval, we will ensure that the agency has thoroughly reviewed these issues in the context of vendor responsibility."

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3. SUNY Albany

" 'We are not really sure how it will go. We have been putting on a lot of pressure,' said the second year grad student [Jackie Hayes]. She is a member of Students for Workers Rights, and last year, they were able to collect 1,211 student signatures on a petition calling for the college to reject another exclusive contract with Coke. United University Professions, the faculty union on campus, also has passed a resolution calling for the university to sever its relationship with the beverage giant."
See Jackie Hayes' statement at the Coke shareholder meeting at point 1 above

Graduate Student Organization, University of Albany, SUNY, "RESOLUTION REGARDING THE COCA-COLA COMPANY," April 4, 2008
Read University of Albany Resolution
"...resolved that the Graduate Student Organization support the efforts of the UUP in pressing for the termination of contracts with Coca-Cola on campus."
Read UUP Resolution
"...BE IT RESOLVED that the UUP Delegate Assembly recommends to the statewide UUP Executive Board that UUP not serve Coca-Cola products at its events, meetings, conferences, and delegate assemblies,"

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4. SUNY Stony Brook

"Dear President Kenny and the Faculty Student Assn.

"Stony Brook University's current contract with Coca-Cola expires at the end of this year. While I understand that this contract provides support for the university and Stony Brook students, especially through scholarships, the actions fo Coca-Cola throughout the world taints not only itself but also the reputation of Stony Brook University.

"Labor injustices and the murders of union members in Colombia, the theft of water from peasants and environmental devastation in India, and operating a Coca-Cola plant in Darfur despite international sanctions are only some of the human rights violations Coca-Cola has committed. President Kenny, in an interview with student media in the last academic year, you said "If universities do not take seriously the human rights issues, who will? They are seriously important." I hope that you still feel the same.

"As a member of the Stony Brook community who takes this issue seriously, I hope that you do the same by not renewing the contract with Coca-Cola in 2008."

In response to hundreds of protest letters like the one above sent to Pres. Kenny and the Faculty Student Assn., Vice President of Finance Karol Kain Gray responded:

"Thank you for your letter concerning the University's interest in our pouring rights contract with Coca-Cola. Over the last year, our Administration invited a group of students from the Social Justice Alliance Organization to meet with Coca-Cola representatives from their Colombia and India headquarters to discuss the human rights issues that are a matter to concern to you.

"The University is aware of the ethical concerns relating to Coca-Cola's global conduct. As we formulate our request for proposals and solicit potential vendors to provide for the beverage needs of our campus community, ethical conduct and vendor responsibility will be important criteria in making any awards. The issue of human rights will continue to be a high agenda item here at the University, and any firm we conduct business with is required to be forthright in disclosing and discussing any concerns we might have.

"Student representatives have been selected to review the bid proposal and to make recommendations. The new beverage agreement once solicited and executed will support the University's position on human rights and global ethics and provide needed scholarship monies to our students.

"Thank you again for expressing your concerns.

"Karol Kain Gray
"Vice President For Finance
"Stony Brook University"

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l. University of Vermont

WCAX-TV News, "UVM Students Want Coca-Cola Off Campus," By Bianca Slota, March 6, 2008
Read Article
See Video
"UVM is a campus full of Coca-Cola products, including Coke, Dr. Pepper, Vitamin Water and Odwalla bars. Justin Hurtt, who is leading up the effort to kick Coke off campus, says other students are frequently surprised to learn just how many products are made by the Coca-Cola company. He says getting them to give up the products might take a bit of convincing, but he's sure it can be done.

" 'I believe we can be able to do that here at the University of Vermont,' says Hurtt. 'I believe that we should if we want to hold up to our code of conduct and be able to promote ourselves as a progressive and a sustainable college.' "

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3. Large Unions in Canada Officially Back Campaign to Stop Killer Coke

a. OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees Union), Largest Provincial Union in Canada Votes to Become Coke-Free

OPSEU is the largest provincial union in Canada with about 120,000 members. We were contacted by Nelson Ross Laguna, president of OPSEU Local 499, in November 2007 and we supplied him with thousands of Campaign leaflets, mini-posters, stickers and DVDs over the past several months.

On April 20, we received an email stating: "We won, even when we were told we wouldn't. OPSEU, as I have been told, is now the first Canadian union to officially call for the complete boycott of Coca-Cola and their subsidiaries and an all out ban of their products at any functions. We will also go after free trade agreements and unionized hotels that we deal with to stop carrying Coca-Cola.

"We also had a worker who is now a member of OPSEU who works as a paramedic and who is from Colombia. He was tortured by paramilitaries and he spoke against Coca-Cola just before the resolution.

"In the end, with 1600 people in the room and 851 voting delegates, only a handful voted against. It passed with flying colours. We won and now the struggle continues. Hopefully, other Canadian locals will get on board. This was a big victory for us at OPSEU."

Nelson Ross Laguna
OPSEU/IWW
Ottawa, On

The union sent out a newsletter dated April 17th - April 19th 2008 describing convention highlights. One great highlight was "Convention floor passed the 'Killer Coke' Campaign and commits to ban all Coke products from OPSEU building and functions."

This is a huge victory for the campaign. Thank you OPSEU and congratulations to Nelson and all those who worked so hard to make this happen.

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b. USW Local 1976, Canada, "Will support the work of the Stop Killer Coke Campaign"

Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers addressed the USW Local 1976 National Conference in Montreal, Canada. The nationwide local has more than 5,100 members. Below is the resolution that was read, seconded and carried at the conference. Ray was warmly welcomed by Pres. Natalie Lapointe and members responded to his speech with a standing ovation.

Phil Conlon of Local 1976 wrote to the Campaign: "It was a privilege to host you and to support the fine work you do. We have committed to lobbying Parliament to prevent a free trade agreement with the government of Colombia, linking that position with the behaviour of Coke and the death squads." A hearty thank you to Pres. Lapointe, Phil Conlon and all the hardworking officers, staff and delegates in Local 1976.

The Campaign wants to remind all those concerned with the Free Trade agreements the role of Coca-Cola in lobbying for those agreements over the years. The Miam Herald reported on May 10, 2005: "Three Central American presidents kicked off a barnstorming tour of America on Monday in Miami, urging support for a trade agreement...The 10-city tour by the presidents from the Dominican Republic and Central America is the latest effort by the Bush administration and the business community to build support for CAFTA on Capitol Hill. FedEx, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Citigroup are sponsoring the tour..."

On Coke's website, they have taken the position that "It is important for our Company in particular and the beverage industry in general to show leadership in communicating the benefits of free trade."

Resolution to Support Coke Trades Unions in Colombia

Whereas, in 2001 and 2006, lawsuits were filed in the United States by the United Steelworkers and the International Labor Rights Fund against Coca-Cola and its bottlers in Colombia charging that the bottlers "contracted with or otherwise directed paramilitary security forces that utilized extreme violence and murdered, tortured, unlawfully detained or otherwise silenced trade union leaders."

Whereas, the lawsuits were filed on behalf of SINALTRAINAL - the major union representing Coca-Cola workers in Colombia - several of its members and the survivors of Isidro Gil and Adolfo de Jesus Munera, two of its murdered officers.

Whereas, it is well documented that human rights abuses that have festered at Coke's bottling plants for years in Colombia are a replay of what occurred at Coke's facilities in Guatemala in the '70s and '80s. A 1987 publication, Soft Drink, Hard Labour, by the Latin America Bureau in England states: "For nine years, the 450 workers at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Guatemala City fought a battle with Coca-Cola for their jobs, their trade union and their lives...Three General Secretaries of their union were murdered and five other workers killed. Four more were kidnapped and have disappeared. Against all the odds they survived thanks to their own extraordinary courage...A huge international campaign of protests and boycotts was central to their struggle. As a result, the Coca-Cola workers forced concessions from one of the world's largest multinational giants and kept the Guatemalan trade union movement alive through a dark age of government repression."

Whereas, a fact-finding delegation to Colombia in 2004 led by New York City Council Member Hiram Monserrate, which included representatives of the CUNY community, issued a report concluding that Coca-Cola is "complicit in human rights abuses in Colombia" and that its "complicity is deepened by its repeated pattern of bringing criminal charges against union activists who have spoken out about the company's collusion with the paramilitaries"

Whereas, the report further concludes "that Coca-Cola bears responsibility for the campaign of terror leveled at its workers is unavoidable. The company has pressured workers to resign their union membership and contractual rights, and fired workers who refused to do so...Most troubling to the delegation were the persistent allegations that paramilitary violence against workers was done with the knowledge of and likely under the direction of company managers..."

Whereas, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on June 6, 2007: "Employers led by Coca-Cola executive [Ed Potter] stopped the International Labour Organization of the United Nations examining violations of workplace rights in Colombia..." Potter appears to be working to shield Colombia and Coca-Cola from any real scrutiny at a time when the Colombian government and multinational corporations are getting unwanted attention for their ties to paramilitary death squads that prey on workers and their unions.

Whereas, campaigns against Coca-Cola are growing worldwide because of labor, human rights and/or environmental abuses in Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Venezuela and other countries.

Whereas, on Nov. 19, 2007, a documentary film broadcast nationally in England highlighted Coke's labor, human rights and environmental abuses in Colombia and India, its offensive history of racial discrimination, and how Coke benefits from hazardous child labor cutting sugar cane illegally in El Salvador.

Be it resolved, that Local 1976 will support the work of the Stop Killer Coke Campaign, and will lobby members of parliament to force the Canadian Government to call to account coca cola executives and the Colombian government and;

Be it further resolvedthat we will lobby parliament to end any negotiation of a free trade agreement with Colombia.

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4. New Book by Ann Aurelia Lopez on Farmworkers' Struggles Builds Case Against Killer Coke

New Book on Farmworkers' Struggles Builds Case Against Killer Coke

On Dec. 23, 1999 at about 7 p.m., Ann Aurelia Lopez was typing field notes in her hotel room in central Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico, when she was suddenly distracted "by whistles blowing and traffic noise from a street choked with cars" outside her window. When the University of California-Santa Cruz researcher went outside to investigate, she found "a stage with enormous speakers blaring Christmas songs in the corner of the plaza next to the church."

Listening closely, Lopez noticed that lyrics of the Christmas songs "had been altered to include reference to Coca-Cola. Behind the stage stood a massive Christmas tree...decorated with...ornaments bearing the words 'Coca-Cola' hung from the tree. Next to the tree, a large sign said (in Spanish), "Enjoy Coca-Cola; Coca-Cola increases the magic of Christmas in your city." The sign, next to a stand featuring costumed Disney-like bear characters wearing Coca-Cola logos and offering free cups of Coke and Fresca, also included the insignia of DIF (Integrated Family Development), an ostensibly independent organization that was now openly aligned with the Coca-Cola Company.

In The Farmworkers' Journey, recently published by the University of California Press, Lopez recalls that she "later asked the director of DIF in Cuquio why an organization interested in family health would endorse...(a company that) was peddling addictive, health-compromising substances. She responded that Coca-Cola is one of DIF's few and only financial supporters and sources of income."

Although Coca-Cola is not the main subject of her valuable research and analysis, Lopez makes a vivid and convincing case against Coke's "unethical business practices," including its bottlers' involvement in murder, torture and other human rights violations in Colombia. She details the ugly pattern of pollution, price-gouging, union-busting, fraudulent marketing practices and support for dictators that characterizes the conduct of Coke and other multinational corporate interests in the Americas. Not unexpectedly Vicente Fox, the former Coca-Cola Mexico president who went on to become president of Mexico, makes several cameo appearances.

After devoting years to studying how farmworker families in California and Mexico subsidize agribusiness while receiving far less than a fair wage to sustain themselves, Lopez has produced a book that should be must reading for everyone who wants to become better informed about economic globalization and the exploitation of migrant agricultural workers. Her ability to relate to the people she interviewed and to amplify their voices makes The Farmworkers' Journey far more readable and compelling than the typical academic work product.

Proceeds from sales of the book will help establish a nonprofit foundation designed to provide assistance of many kinds to farmworkers in California and Mexico. To learn more about the Farm Workers Family Foundation, check its Web sites in English and Spanish: www.farmworkerfamily.org or www.familiascampesinas.org.

Reviewed by Joe Pilati, staff writer/editor, Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc.

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5. Park Slope Food Coop Removes Bottled Water from Shelves

The Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn, New York, is composed of 13,900 members all of whom must work 2 3/4 hours every four weeks in order to shop. The Coop has long had a mission statement that, in part, says: "We respect the environment. We strive to reduce the impact of our lifestyles on the world we share with other species and future generations."

In April 2004, the General Meeting of the Coop, its decision-making body, voted to "sever all ties with The Coca-Cola Co., its units and subsidiaries and will no longer sell the company's products which have 'The Coca-Cola Co.' logo on the packaging or are advertised as Coca-Cola products, such as, Odwalla or Minute Maid products."

In August 2007, three Coop members, Susan Metz, David Barouh and Lew Friedman met to prepare and introduce a new proposal to the General Meeting: "That the PSFC discontinue selling bottled water."

Why? They went on to explain to the membership: "Because selling bottled water violates our mission - polluting the environment and handing over public resources for private gain - we resolve to discontinue selling bottled water. Selling bottled water undermines support for and confidence in the public water system, which distributes our most precious common resource equitably. Plastic bottles pollute the environment, requires oil and lots of water to produce and fuel to transport. They take up landfill space where toxins can leach into the water table. Selling bottled water allows corporations to exploit public resources for private gain. Bottled water is an unnecessary expense to the consumer. Unloading and schlepping bottled water is backbreaking work and shelf space could be better used."

After discussion on the issue at the November 27, 2007 General Meeting, at which Susan, David and Lew presented their position with a worldwide overview of the hazards of bottled water, environmental issues and health issues, it was decided that the issue would come up for a vote at a future meeting. But it was decided that a discussion should be had in the Coop's biweekly publication, The Linewaiters' Gazette. And from December 2007 through April 2008, many articles and letters were published. (Anyone interested in getting the links to the Gazette discussion, please send an email to Lew at info@KillerCoke.org.)

The General Meeting of April 29 was packed with some 200 people, a much larger meeting than usual. Most speakers at the meeting supported the resolution, although there were questions regarding seltzer (we were not removing that product). It was noted by one speaker that purchases of bottled water was not extensive at the Coop and that sales had dropped over time. Most likely, members had been previously educated about bottled water by the Coop's discussion or by the media and had already decided to stop purchasing it.

At the end of the time set aside for the discussion, a vote was called and of the 200 people in the room only one or two people opposed the resolution. The Park Slope Food Coop thus has gone on record recognizing the dangers of bottled water to our planet and will no longer sell it to our members.

I would like to thank Richard Girard of the Polaris Institute and Deborah Lapidus of Corporate Accountability International who provided help with support and information on the subject.

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6. Demonstrators Protest NYS Sen. Sabini Event Sponsored by Coke

Our Campaign received a flyer from a friend inviting her to a Queens, New York, event celebrating Women's History Month and sponsored by Coke. NYS Sen. John D. Sabini was the host of this event. The campaign sent Sen. Sabini a letter describing Coca-Cola's worldwide abuses, measures that have been taken by the Campaign and requested the following:

"1) that no Coca-Cola products be served at Saturday's Women's History Month event and explain why to the honorees and the audience. Bruno's can surely provide alternative beverages.

"2) return any financial contribution to Saturday's event made by Coca-Cola and/or its bottler.

"3) inform Coca-Cola that until the company proves that it has taken remedial actions to protect the labor and human rights of all workers in the Coca-Cola System, you will not associate your name with Coke in any way that serves to promote the company."

Members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke accompanied by members of Comite en Soladaridad con Colombia (CSSC)/Trade Unionists in Solidarity with Colombia (TUSC) distributed leaflets to those entering the restaurant and to Sabini's staff.