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Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Update

Events, Actions and Updates: December 9, 2004 Newsletter

Contents of This Newsletter

  1. NYU's (New York University) Campaign to Ban Coke
  2. SEIU Local 415 Resolution, Santa Cruz County, Calif.
  3. Resolution Passed by Leeds University, UK
  4. "Inside the Real Thing: Corporate profile on Coca-Cola Corporation," Report by the Polaris Institute (Canada)
  5. Letter from SINALTRAINAL re: Assassination Attempt
  6. SOA Watch, Ft. Benning, Ga.
  7. Coke revolt: Group rallies against UM's (University of Montana) Coca-Cola contract
  8. Anti-Coke "Hedge Fund" Targets Coke
  9. No Coke at the Labor at the Crossroads Conference
  10. hoto Re: Guatemala 1980P
  11. Bono and U2 Perform; Campaign Leaflets
  12. Police Attack Coca-Cola Protest in Mehdiganj, India; Over 350 Arrested
  13. India Court Orders Coke, Pepsi To Print Consumer Warning About Pesticides in Drinks
  14. Take Action Against Coke!
  15. Please send photos, reports of events, etc.

(We would like to thank all of you who responded to our call for financial help for the Campaign. We received donations ranging from $5 to $100 - and they all help. Your contributions will help us continue to wage an intense worldwide campaign. If you haven't yet sent a contribution, please consider the importance of this Campaign and make a financial contribution. Checks can be mailed to the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, P.O. Box 1002, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276-1002, payable to Campaign to Stop Killer Coke or pay by credit card through Paypal from our home page.)

1. New York University Campaign to Ban Coke, Washington Square News

EDITORIAL, "COKE BOYCOTT RIGHT MOVE," by WSN Editorial Staff, Dec. 7, 2004
Read Editorial

SCPS Student Council (4th of 5 decison-making bodies) at New York University votes to ban Coca-Cola, Dec. 6, 2004
"The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at NYU scored its most significant victory to date Thursday, when the University Committee on Student Life voted to recommend a campus-wide ban on the sale of Coca-Cola products."

Coke is taking this Campaign very seriously; the company sent spokesperson Lori Billingsley, Issues Director of Media Relations, to NYU. There's a photo in our Protest Pics section of Billingsley speaking to the students. Note the non-Coke products on the table.
Read Article

This follows three earlier votes by other student council bodies.

Students to weigh Coke fate, Dec. 1, 2004
Read Article

New York University is the largest private university in the United States with more than 38,000 students and more than 15,000 employees.

The final (5th vote) should take place early next semester.

2. Service Employees International Union Local 415 Resolution
The SEIU Local 415, Santa Cruz County, California, passed a resolution to Support Protection for Trade Unionists in Colombia and Boycott Coca-Cola
Read Resolution

"THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Service Employees International Union Local 415 support our Colombian brothers and sisters by actively lobbying our Congressional representatives for changes in U.S. policy toward Colombia that would:

  • Reduce U.S. aid to the Colombian military and reduce U.S. military involvement in Colombia, and
  • Maintain and enforce existing human rights conditions on U.S. assistance, and
  • Require the Colombian government to take action to sever links between its military forces and the paramilitaries and to arrest and prosecute the killers of union members and other civilians, and
  • Support efforts to achieve a negotiated solution to the military conflict, and
  • Require that any trade agreement with Colombia contain within it both protections for workers rights as outlined in the 1998 ILO Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and mechanisms to sanction the failure to protect these rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Service Employees International Union Local 415 support our Colombian brothers and sisters by:

  • Joining in the world-wide boycott of all Coca-Cola products and encouraging Local 415 members to observe the boycott of Killer Coke, and
  • Urging SEIU, the AFL-CIO, and other labor organizations to divest all funds and sever all business ties with SunTrust Banks, Inc., until such time as the bank severs all ties with Coca-Cola.'"

SEIU, Local 415, Santa Cruz County, California

3. Report from Leeds University, England-The Campaign received the following e-mail.
"We had a debate with Coke on Tuesday. They flew over a representative from South America for the debate, but were truly ridiculed by the students. They formed no coherent defence to the allegations of crimes in Colombia, or to the allegations of violating the UN millennium development goals by the pollution and use of water in India. With a crowd of three hundred, Coke had to leave with their tail between their legs. I shall get the full text out to people asap. The fundraiser also went splendidly, with over two hundred people coming along to limbo, salsa, belly dancing, Latin American bands and an awesome DJ. After all of our costs, we made over 250 for Colombian solidarity." A resolution was passed that will hopefully lead to the removal of Coke from the campus.

4. "Inside the Real Thing: Corporate profile on Coca-Cola Corporation," Report by the Polaris Institute (Canada)
Read the report in pdf format

5. Letter from SINALTRAINAL Re: Assassination Attempt
Bogotá, 7th December 2004

Senor RAFAEL BUSTAMANTE

Director Protection Programme

Ministry of the Interior

With this letter we inform you that at about 8:00 p.m. on 25th November 2004, as comrade GUSTAVO LINDARTE, a member of SINALTRAINAL's Claims Committee and a Coca Cola worker in the city of Cucuta, was passing by 9th Street and 7th Avenue, having left the trade union office on his way home, he was hit by a firearm projectile in his left leg, above the knee.

Our comrade heard a noise like pyrotechnic games and at that same instant felt a blow to his leg. He tried to run but realised that he was wounded. He immediately went to the Social Security located on Guamaral Avenue where the bullet was extracted. The police were present at the hospital centre and they were informed of the events.

Trade union leader GUSTAVO LINDARTE is now out of immediate danger from the shooting injury, but this serious incident that endangered his life leaves us very concerned.

We demand that the government and the Colombian authorities investigate and deal with those responsible for this incident, that they protect the lives of the leaders and members of SINALTRAINAL and that they assign immediate security guarantees to GUSTAVO LINDARTE. We hold the state responsible for what might happen to our comrade or to any of our members.

Yours,

JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
President, SINALTRAINAL

Colombia Solidarity Campaign adds RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Dear President Uribe,

Following the shooting of Coca Cola worker and SINALTRAINAL trade leader GUSTAVO LINDARTE in Cucuta on 25th November 2004, as the union reported to the police and Ministry of Interior, I/we urge that the Colombian government and authorities:

  • investigate and deal with those responsible for this incident
  • assign immediate security guarantees to GUSTAVO LINDARTE
  • protect the lives of the leaders and members of SINALTRAINAL.

I/we remain extremely concerned for the human rights of trade unionists in Colombia and await your confirmation of progress on the above matters.

Yours,

(Name)
(Organisation)

To send an e-mail to Uribe, login to www.presidencia.gov.co/ and click on ESCRIBALE AL PRESIDENTE at the bottom of the page.

En Español:

HERIDO DIRIGENTE DE SINALTRAINAL

El dia 25 de Noviembre de 2004, siendo aproximadamente las 8:00 P. M., en la calle 9 con avenida 7 de la ciudad de Cucuta y después de salir de la sede sindical cuando se dirigia a su casa de habitacion, GUSTAVO LINDARTE integrante de la Comision de Reclamos de SINALTRAINAL y trabajador de Coca cola en la ciudad de Cucuta, recibio un proyectil de arma de fuego que le ingreso por la parte exterior de pierna izquierda parte superior de la rodilla.

El companero escucho un ruido parecido al de juegos pirotécnicos y al mismo instante sintio un golpe en la pierna, intento seguir caminando y se dio cuenta que estaba herido, dirigiéndose de inmediato al Seguro Social ubicado en la avenida Guamaral donde le fue extraida la bala. En el centro hospitalario se hizo presente la policia quien conocio de los hechos.

El dirigente sindical GUSTAVO LINDARTE se encuentra fuera de peligro, pero nos preocupa este grave hecho que puso en peligro la vida del companero. Exigimos del gobierno y las autoridades de Colombia investigar y dar con los responsables, proteger la vida de los dirigentes y afiliados de SINALTRAINAL y asignar las garantias de seguridad para el companero GUSTAVO LINDARTE de forma inmediata.

Atentamente,

LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUAREZ
Presidente

6. SOA Watch, Ft. Benning, Ga.
The Campaign attended the SOA Watch action during the weekend of Nov. 20th at Ft. Benning, Georgia to support the protest to shut down the School of the Americas combat training school for Latin American soldiers, many of whom train and become paramilitaries. Thirteen demonstrators were arrested committing civil disobedience. Among the 16,000 demonstrators from across the Americas were Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon and George Wendt and musician Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls.

With the help of Mike Schippani of the United Auto Workers, we managed to distribute every piece of Campaign literature that we brought, including 500 posters and 16,000 stickers and leaflets to human rights activists from across the Americas. Hundreds of people signed up to help out the Campaign. Many of those signing were students and faculty from colleges, universities and high schools.

7. Missoulian, "Coke revolt: Group rallies against UM's Coca-Cola contract," by BETSY COHEN, Dec. 2, 2004
A swarm of 100-some University of Montana students, faculty and community members marched into UM President George Dennison's office in Main Hall Wednesday afternoon, chanting "Kill the Coke Contract."
Read Article

8. Anti-Coke "Hedge Fund" Targets Coke
"An anti-capitalist former stockbroker and the son of Sir James Goldsmith have launched an audacious attempt to halve the value of Coca-Cola's shares. The radical activist Max Keiser (www.karmabanque.com)has joined forces with the editor of the Ecologist magazine, Zak Goldsmith, to launch a hedge fund that will donate the profits from short-sales in Coke's stock to the "victims of Coke's business model in places like India and Colombia."
Read the article

9. No Coke at the Labor at the Crossroads Conference at the CUNY Grad Center, Dec. 2 & 3
Members of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke attended the Labor at the Crossroads Conference at the CUNY Grad Center on Dec. 2 and 3. They distributed Campaign leaflets to hundreds of extremely supportive attendees. Conference organizers made sure that no Coke products were served.

10. Photo: Guatemala Coke Boycott, 1980
Take a look at this photo taken in Washington, DC in 1980 by Nancy J. Atkinson.
Photo in Protest Pics secton

Excerpts from "For God, Country and Coca-Cola," by Mark Pendergrast: "Meanwhile, smoldering foreign crises exploded, as Coca-Cola's cozy relationship with dictators blew up one after another…"; "The worst problem loomed in Guatemala, where the Guatemala City Coke workers had unionized in 1975, sparking a chain of intimidations and violence…"; "Coca-Cola's image in Guatemala could not be worse. There, murder is called Coca-Cola.…"; "With more blood than syrup flowing at the Guatemalan bottling plant, Coca-Cola's critics grew more shrill. Congressman Donald Pease escalated pressure on the company by writing a letter to President Carter about Coke's 'callous disregard' of the 'wave of murder, torture, kidnapping, and intimidation.'"

11. Bono and U2 Perform; Campaign Leaflets
On Monday, Nov. 22, Bono and U2 played a free concert and filmed a new video. The site that was picked for the concert was near our office and we distributed over 2,000 Campaign leaflets. A number of concertgoers later contacted us to help the Campaign.

12. Police Attack Coca-Cola Protest in Mehdiganj, India; Over 350 Arrested
"Towards the end of the rally, the marchers decided to march to the factory gates, about a hundred meters from the site of the rally. The armed police reacted violently and swiftly, with no warnings. The armed police launched a vicious lathi (baton) charge on all the marchers, and many women, in particular, became the target of male police officers who beat them incessantly. The police also chased after community members in the surrounding fields to beat them, many of whom were escaping the site of the violent police action. A Budhist monk was also attacked by the police, who showed no regard whatsoever for anyone present in the area. The police attacks were ordered by Mr. Tahir Iqbal, ADM of police in Varanasi." Read the full report from the India Resource Center. Send a free fax to Coke CEO Isdell protesting abuse and arrest of protesters in India.
Send fax in English
Envia un fax gratis

13. Indian Courts Order Coke and Pepsi to Label
Associated Press,"India Court Orders Coke, Pepsi To Print Consumer Warning," Dec.7, 2004.
"Coca Cola and Pepsi sold in India must carry a consumer warning after the nation's Supreme Court said tests of the soft drinks bottled locally turned up high levels of pesticides," a newspaper reported Tuesday.
Read Article

Knight Ridder News, "Coke, Pepsi lose fight over labels," Dec. 9, 2004
Read Article

14. Take Actions Against Coke!

15. 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 toinfo@KillerCoke.orgwith your name and description of where you live and/or work for our database.


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