Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
The latest episode in the assault on free speech and civil liberties in Canada
by Kimball Cariou
Amy Goodman, the popular co-host of the well-known Democracy Now! radio show, was scheduled to speak last night (Wed., Nov. 25) at the Vancouver Public Library. She is currently on a North American (mainly U.S.) tour to launch her new book, "Breaking the Sound Barrier". The Vancouver event was organized as a fundraiser by local campus and community radio stations. It appeared about 250-300 people were in the crowd.
At the starting time of 7 pm, one of the event organizers went to the microphone to explain that Goodman would be late - she was being questioned by Canadian border guards about her beliefs and the content of her Vancouver speech. The organizers said they still hoped to begin the event at 8 pm.
An hour later, Goodman did arrive. After the introductions, she told the crowd about her experience at the border. She was driving up from Washington and Oregon with a couple of co-workers. At the border, she was taken for questioning, and the computers of her co-workers were investigated. She told us that the guard interrogating her wanted to know what she would be speaking about, and to see her speaking notes.
Goodman explained that she tends to speak without notes. In this case, she intended to begin the evening talking about the final essay in her new book, a piece dealing with the issue of US health care (or lack of it) as related to the theme of Canadian medicare and Tommy Douglas. She pointed out this essay to the border guard, who then wanted to know "what else" she would speak about. She went on to explain that she would speak about other topics in the book, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the climate change negotiations, etc. What else, the guard kept asking. Finally, he came out with the real question - did she intend to speak about the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and what would she say?
Goodman told the guard that she is not a sports fan or an expert on the Olympics. This, she told the crowd, simply seemed to make matters worse. But finally, she was able to get through, her co-workers got their computers back, and they made it to the library. Her presentation was excellent.
But the whole thing does raise even more frightening questions about what the situation here will be in February, when the Canadian state's Olympic security paranoia is cranked up to full intensity.
See a video explanation here
And here is the rest of it.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
photo: the bookmobile in mexico during the 2008 caravan to cuba.
Dear friends, colleagues, supporters of Cuban libraries:
First, we would like to thank those of you who gave generous support in helping us send the Bookmobile to Granma, for the “1868 Provincial Library” in the city of Bayamo. The bookmobile arrived in Cuba with the Pastors for Peace Caravan and was put into operation after a grand inaugural ceremony in October 2008 with invited guests, school children, librarians and community members. We visited the bookmobile in January 2009 and rode along on trips to communities surrounding Bayamo where it was heavily used.
We want to heartily thank our supporters for the monetary and in-kind (books) support you gave to the bookmobile project. All of your help made it quite successful. We told the Bayamo librarians about the dozens of librarians and supporters who contributed to the project, and they asked us to thank all of you who sent books, money, support and puppets to them. The Cuban librarians and patrons greatly value the bookmobile and are very appreciative of the efforts of everyone who helped with it and wanted to show their gratitude to every single contributor. See the photos below and at the bookmobile blog at: http://bookmobile.wordpress.com/.
Now that the bookmobile is successfully serving the countryside in the Granma Province, we would like to tell you about and invite you to be a part of our newest project. We are collaborating with librarians at the Ruben Martinez Villena Provincial Library, located in Old Havana, to help develop the collection with high-quality young adult books in Spanish (we’re calling it the Young Adult Book Project). We are concentrating on young adult titles in Spanish that have been nominated and/or awarded recognition by the American Library Association. There is a great need for such books because the young adults are avid readers and have read practically everything in the library suitable for their age/reading level. Libraries in Cuba are heavily used and literacy in Cuba is nearly 100%. On a visit to the library in Old Havana, we met children’s librarian, Adrian Guerra, who told us of the very active teen readers he serves and the need for more young adult reading materials in the library.
We loved the idea of helping teen readers as soon as we heard of the need! Of course, we told Adrian, we would love to help build the library’s young adult collection! Adrian also shared that any new reading material would be used by groups of teenage readers for their “Wiki” Reading Club where the readers review and recommend titles for their peers. We are especially excited to gather these titles for the reading youth in Old Havana, Cuba and we urge you to join our efforts with your donations, both monetary and book titles. The actual cash donations are tax-deductible if sent through “IFCO: BOOKMOBILE PROJECT” (the address is below).
The books that we have purchased already are library discards; we are perfectly happy with ex-library copies and discarded/withdrawn books in Spanish suitable for young adults. We will gladly take them. Most of the collection thus far — including the titles we’ve purchased on aLibris — are former library copies. Special thanks to Librarians Beth Sibley and Tarnell Abbott for their very generous donations of fabulous withdrawn and discarded library materials in Spanish!
Here’s what we’ve already done. We requested and were awarded a small grant from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation (which also supported the Bookmobile to Granma with a book grant). We decided to select the books that are award-winners and nominees of the Young Adult Services Association (YALSA) of the American Library Association and other library groups which are available in Spanish. YALSA nominates titles for several annual best books awards (http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/booklistsbook.cfm). We have purchased or had donated about 60 titles already. If you’d like to join in our efforts, our wishlist is at www.aLibris.com. The YA Book Project blog, http://www,yaproject.wordpress.com has a complete list of titles we recommend for this collection. Neither Alibris, nor Amazon nor any of the other used book venders carry all of the desired books, so if you run across any of the titles being sold for a few cents, please grab them.
1. If you can help us using aLibris, please do this: Once you are at www.aLibris.com, click on “wishlist” at the top of the page. Then, to search for our specific wishlist, type in firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be connected to the wishlist for the “Young Adult Books for the Ruben M. Villena Library.”
2. If you are in a community that serves Spanish-language readers, we appeal to you to obtain your public library and/or school library’s discarded young adult titles and send them to us for this project. All new and used young adult books in Spanish, fiction and non-fiction, are fine for this project.
3. Monetary donations for us to select and purchase the titles. Please send the contribution to the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)
418 W 145th Street, New York, NY 10031. The check should be made out to Bookmobile Project.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
thanks to angela bischoff for this:
OTTAWA, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - More than two years after they posed as protestors at a demonstration against the North American Leaders' Summit in Montebello, three Quebec police officers were found to have "failed to respect the authority of the law by inciting persons to violence."
The ruling by the "Comité à la déontologie policière"*, released yesterday, also found that the officers were disrespectful or impolite, used obscene, blasphemous or abusive language, and refused to produce identification when asked.
"This is a victory for democracy and for the democratic right to peaceful protests, but I have the same question I had two years ago," says Dave Coles, the man who unmasked the protestors.
"Who ordered them to do it? We need an independent judicial inquiry into the whole cover-up. When people show up to protest because they are concerned about an issue - and they are attacked by those who are supposed to be defending them... there is something wrong with the system."
Mr. Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, made news headlines, when his attempts to stop three burly men, dressed in black, one armed with a rock, from infiltrating the peaceful protest, were caught on video and posted on YouTube. He called for a public inquiry immediately following the Aug. 20, 2007 incident.
"These officers did not make the decision on their own to pose as demonstrators and incite violence. Police were used to try to turn a peaceful protest into a violent one. The public should be very concerned."
The three police officers must now appear before the committee investigating their behaviour within the next two weeks.
Paul Manley, the independent filmmaker who caught the Montebello incident on video has included it in his recently-released documentary exposing the secretive, anti-democratic corporate agenda behind the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Screenings are underway in cities across Canada. http://www.youmespp.com/screenings/.
* A copy of the decision in French is available at www.cep.ca. The
English translation has not yet been released.
For further information: Dave Coles, (613) 299-5628; Gaétan Ménard, (819) 775-6980; Michelle Walsh, (613) 230-5800, ext. 222
Monday, November 9, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I actually do remember the face of who tossed the marbles. He was young (~early 20's), skinny, caucasian, about 5' 10"ish. He appeared to have either a short hair or tight hat. He was dressed in the anarchoblack halloween outfit (sans mask) that so many of the marchers were wearing. Other marchers called out to him "what do you think you're doing?" and he turned around and smiled and replied something the effect of "what's done is done " kind of thing. He actually dropped some of the marbles on my feet, causing me to trip. I kicked about a dozen marbles off towards the street gutters as they were a hazard to the marchers. I didn't see anyone throw the marbles, just fellow marchers kicking them off the street, not towards horses who were about 50m away.
I don't believe it was cop but suspect rather a member of some autonomous affinity group trying to be clever. It felt like a prank/ activist misfire in implementation. When I asked a neighboring marcher what was the point of marbles they instantly knew that it was a tactic tool to impair the horses. Some one got too enthused, thinking tactically not strategically. The horses were never a threat to the group and looking back at the evening, I actually have to give the Victoria cops some credit in not provoking the crowd. I was amazed that the demo actually made onto the Legislature lawn during the finale.
I'll gladly provide any other feedback if necessary,
hi harry's assistant,
i read in the burnaby newsleader that harry bloy thinks i'm a terrorist. and he said that in the legislature so it's in the permanent record.
i hadn't realized that expressing my opinions - asking my elected officials, who are paid with my tax money, to consider that health care and education and the arts and environment ought to be funded first and then, when there are no more children living in the streets, then it's time to spend money on fun and games ..... i hadn't realized that expressing that opinion is akin to terrorism. my mom always told me i have to clean up my room before i can go out and play. i guess she's a terrorist too?
so that's what those people in afghanistan are doing, those people labelled as terrorists? they're just like me, wanting the wealth of their society to be distributed among all so that those less fortunate, the disabled and elderly among them, might be offered an opportunity to live a dignified life?! and for that they're called terrorists, and they're bombed and murdered?!!
well thank you, harry bloy, for enlightening me. i guess that's why you pay yourself the big bucks.
and thank harry too, for calling me that name - terrorist - so it's in the hansard, the permanent record. i think i'll call my lawyer, now, and chat about defamation of character ....
you know, my mom also taught me to be a good houseguest. if i go stay at someone's house i don't just barge in, demanding that they simply remove anything i consider 'unsightly,' taking anything i want from their cupboards, leaving a big mess behind. when i stay at someone's home i consider their privacy and that i might be somewhat of an imposition even though i've been invited. i clean up after myself, and leave a nice gift behind. the olympics, according to my mom's standards, are lousy houseguests.
and here's what i don't get ..... if they've got all those corporate sponsors, why do they need our money? if they were to pay their own way and quit stealing from all of us (with harry's help - i don't remember voting for that), and clean up after themselves and leave a gift (for us, not for you) perhaps they'd be greeted more warmly from those of us "with limited intellect" whose friends are dying on the streets to make room for them.
janine bandcroft, victoria
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
If the marble people were agents provocateurs, and their own media busted them but lied about it, who are the bad guys?
"Protesters also threw marbles at the feet of horses used by the Vancouver police mounted squad."
This is a lie. I was there when the marbles were released, at one of the intersections on Cook Street where we stopped for ten minutes or thereabouts. My friend and I commented on what a stupid thing that is, dropping marbles onto the street so that the horses, already enslaved and wishing they were in a warm barn somewhere, might slip on them. Others nearby expressed similar comments. We were at the back of the crowd, where I stayed for most of the route, and there were several police officers within earshot. It was clear that the officers were made aware of the marbles. The horses passed without incident.
It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the marbles were released by agents provocateurs, who have been proven (and those from Montebello may actually go to jail for inciting violence) to be planted into crowds for the purposes of disrupting otherwise peaceful acts of civil disobedience.
You may not agree with our message, Sandra McCulloch and Katie Derosa, and you're entitled to your own opinion. But please stop fabricating stories lest you wish to be charged with defamation of character. You'd be more credible journalists if you were to bust the provocateurs, as Paul Manley did during the Security and Prosperity Partnership protests in Quebec. At the very least, quit attempting to discredit us with stories that are simply untrue.
The Original Corporate Media Story
The Comments (they didn't print mine)
a note on the comments page says the marbles fell out of someone's pocket. who knows .... they were blue marbles, very new. i should have kept one. they were definitely not something an impoverished street urchin would normally carry. i'm very suspicious ....
and I also heard that the nothing's-new-around-here CHEK 6 showed the horses, and a hand full of marbles, and fabricated the same story. it just doesn't get much slimier than that. pass it on. tell the story at the christmas or hannukah table. whoever it was with the marbles, the corporate media are fucking lying.
don't bother to
."The Coca-Cola Case:" New Film by German Gutiérrez and Carmen Garcia
. Demonstration at "World of Coca-Cola," Atlanta, GA, Friday, Nov. 20
& Shut Down SOA Activities, Ft. Benning & Columbus, GA, Nov. 20-22
. Help Us Raise $9,500 to Boost Campaign Efforts in Georgia
. In Memory of a True Labor Leader and Hero:
Crystal Lee Sutton, the Real Norma Rae
. AFT Resolution Raises Questions About TIAA-CREF's Investments
. Coke Workers in Ireland Strike to Protect Union Jobs
. Bottled Water Scams
. Coke Partners with Doctors' Group & Doctors Quit
. Coke and Environmental Messes
. The Cost of a Coke, 2nd Edition
. More Coke Lies Exposed in India
. Does Coke CEO Kent REALLY Believe Soda Tax is a Socialist Conspiracy?
# # #
1. "The Coca-Cola Case:" New Film by German Gutiérrez and Carmen Garcia
A dramatic new film exposing horrific human rights abuses by Coke's bottlers in Colombia and efforts to secure justice
"In this feature length documentary, directors German Gutiérrez and Carmen Garcia present a searing indictment of the Coca-Cola empire and its alleged kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders trying to improve working conditions in Colombia, Guatemala and Turkey.
"The filmmakers follow labour rights lawyers Daniel Kovalik and Terry Collingsworth and Campaign to Stop Killer Coke (
Presently, plans are being made to show "The Coca-Cola Case" at various film festivals and to distribute the film to theatres and television stations worldwide. If you have ideas for venues to show the film, such as local theatres, television stations or conventions, please email your ideas to
Dates for showings of "The Coca-Cola Case"
Documentary Panorama of the 54th Corona Cork Film Festival
November 3 - 6:30pm
The filmmakers received the following message from the Corona Cork Film Festival:
"We received almost 300 entries in this category, from which we have selected just 30 films, so congratulations! In Cork we have a friendly, lively festival, with enthusiastic and supportive audiences and we do hope that you will consider attending the festival to represent your film.
Les Mardis du Courrier
Cinéma MK2 Quai de seine
14 quai de la Seine (19e) - Métro : Stalingrad/Jaurès
November 3rd, 8:30 pm
7th edition of the Paris International Film Festival on Human Rights
Action Christine Theater
10-16 March 2010
A French supporter of the Campaign who plans to be at the film showing.
Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal
November 14th - 6pm
475, boulevard De Maisonneuve Est
November 18 - 5:15pm
Cinéma Parallèle - eXcentris
3536 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal
COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES
Friday, Nov. 20
Room 208 (capacity of 75)
Howard Johnson's Presidential Room (capacity of 400)
A couple of blocks from the Convention Center on Veterans Parkway
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2. Demonstration at "World of Coca-Cola,"Atlanta, GA, Friday, Nov. 20 & Shut Down SOA Activities, Ft. Benning & Columbus, GA, Nov. 20-22
On Nov. 20, the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke will join with Witness for Peace at the World of Coke in Atlanta, Georgia, beginning at 11 am for a demonstration against The Coca-Cola Co. We will also be joined by members of the Georgia Green Party and others who want to protest against Coca-Cola's labor, human rights, health and environmental abuses.
Please contact the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at
Click on above to read the 8-1/2" x 11" leaflet.
Themes of the weekend demonstrations will be to "Shut Down SOA!" and "Stop Killer Coke!"
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke will be giving out the following signs/posters to protesters to use in demonstrations and to take home.
In addition, the Campaign is seeking volunteers to help distribute 20,000 "Help Stop Coca-Cola's Abuses!" leaflets at the demonstrations.
Click above to read each 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" leaflet.
Present at our demonstration in Atlanta will be the mobile billboard that was first seen at April's annual shareholders' meeting (below). It will also travel to Columbus and Ft. Benning.
Shut Down SOA Activities, Ft. Benning & Columbus, GA, Nov. 20-22
Following the demonstration in Atlanta at the World of Coca-Cola, many will be heading to Columbus, Georgia, to join the thousands demanding the closing of the School of the Americas (SOA) at Ft. Benning. The School of the Americas is a U.S. military training school for Latin American soldiers. The school is synonymous with torture and military repression around the world. Its graduates have a long history of military coups, human rights abuses and the suppression of popular movements. Hundreds of thousands have been tortured, raped, murdered and "disappeared" by those trained at the SOA, also known as School of Assassins. (
For over a decade, people from across the Americas have been converging every November at Fort Benning, Georgia, to speak out for justice. Thousands will gather again this year to continue the struggle until the SOA is closed and the policies it represents are changed.
During the weekend activities to shut down the SOA, there will be two film showings of "The Coca-Cola Case," a documentary by Carmen Garcia and German Gutierrez. The filmmakers are planning to show "The Coca-Cola Case" at various film festivals and to distribute the film to theatres and television stations worldwide.
Attend free special preview showings of "The Coca-Cola Case." Ask questions and meet filmmaker German Gutierrez, Stop Killer Coke newsletter editor Lew Friedman and Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers:
Friday, Nov. 20
Room 208 (capacity of 75)
Howard Johnson's Presidential Room (capacity of 400)
A couple of blocks from the Convention Center on Veterans Parkway.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke will be staffing a table at the Convention Center and at the vigil at Ft. Benning.
Green Party Resolution
In September, the Georgia Green Party passed a resolution resolving:
Resolved, that the Georgia Green Party calls on its members to initiate and support campaigns in schools, labor unions and public institutions, etc. to hold The Coca-Cola Company accountable by removing all Coke machines and Coke beverages and banning the sale and advertising of Coke products;
Resolved, that the Green Party will ban all Coke products from all its meetings and events;
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 by the Green Party of Georgia will remain in effect.
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3. Help Us Raise $9,500 to Boost Campaign Efforts in Georgia
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is investing a lot of volunteers and borrowed money into activities the weekend of November 20-22. Visibility and organizing efforts on those days will serve as a springboard to expand the campaign in Georgia while supporting SOA Watch's efforts to shut down the School of the Americas.
The SOA is commonly called School of the Assassins because it is a U.S. military training school for Latin American soldiers notorious for military coups, propping up brutal dictators and joining the ranks of paramilitaries who torture and murder union leaders and human rights advocates. The SOA is located at Ft. Benning, 10 miles from Columbus, Georgia and 100 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia where the Coca-Cola Company and its largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) are headquartered.
Both The Coca-Cola Co. and CCE are intimately connected through executive/board interlocks and stock holdings to Coca-Cola FEMSA, Colombia's largest bottler, which is a defendant in human rights abuse lawsuits accusing Coca-Cola with complicity in horrific crimes by its bottlers including collaborating with paramilitaries in the systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders and family members to crush their union, SINALTRAINAL. Coca-Cola FEMSA, headquartered in Mexico, is a joint venture of beer producer and distributor FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Co. FEMSA's top beer brands are Tecate, Dos Equis and Sol.
Contributions will help defray the costs of producing thousands of leaflets, protest signs and posters, DVDs, convention center meeting rooms, transportation of volunteers and deploying a mobile billboard. The leaflets, protest signs and mobile billboard can be viewed in section 2 of this newsletter: Demonstration at World of Coca-Cola.
Please make your contribution by clicking on the "Contributions" link near the top of our home page at
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4. In Memory of a True Labor Leader and Hero: Crystal Lee Sutton, the Real Norma Rae, by Ray Rogers
In the passing on Friday, Sept. 11, 2009 of Crystal Lee Sutton, The Real Norma Rae, we have lost the physical presence, but not the spirit, of a true friend and inspiration for all workers struggling against deplorable and unsafe working conditions, discrimination and corporate greed.
Crystal was cut out of the same mold as Mother Jones, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Dolores Huerta and other great fighters for human rights. Crystal was portrayed by Sally Fields in the Oscar-winning film, "Norma Rae," about a textile worker in the southern mills of the J.P. Stevens Co.
I hadn't spoken to Crystal for a number of years when I received an email from Richard Koritz who I had seen in Winston-Salem, NC, at the kickoff rally for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee's (FLOC) campaign against Reynolds American (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco). The Campaign is seeking justice for thousands of farmworkers suffering from deplorable working and living conditions in the tobacco fields of Crystal's home state of North Carolina. Richard said, "I'm writing on behalf of Crystal Lee Sutton, 'the real Norma Rae,' your old friend. She would really like to hear from you. She is currently battling cancer with her typical, courageous and determined spirit..."
I immediately called Crystal and a number of conversations followed over the next few months. We talked about her health and each other's concerns about the plight of so many hardworking, desperately poor people and the unbridled corporate greed destroying the world's economy. Crystal wanted to show her support for three labor struggles I am presently involved in -
Crystal felt strongly that whether you were a worker fighting oppression in a textile mill or in a bottling plant in Colombia or a farmworker in the tobacco fields of North Carolina or a satellite television technician being cheated out of pay, you needed and deserved a strong union and a voice not only to fight for justice in the workplace but to fight for justice everywhere. As a textile worker in the '70s, Crystal fought on all fronts against oppressive working conditions and all forms of discrimination.
Crystal and her husband Preston, Summer 2009
We planned on getting together at her home in Burlington, NC, in July. At that time, I planned to introduce Crystal to FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez. However, doctor felt that due to the flu outbreak, it would be unwise for us to meet at that time. We planned again to get together some time in the Fall.
Crystal and I had a lot in common. While on the staff of ACTWU, I developed and directed the Corporate Campaign that was crucial in the union's ultimate victory that led to a contract settlement and better working conditions for thousands of Southern textile workers.
In one demonstration I organized in July 1980, Crystal led a march of about seven hundred demonstrators into Sperry's annual meeting because the CEO of Stevens served on the company's board along with the head of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. As reported in the Wall Street Journal in October 1980, pressure by the head of Metropolitan Life on Stevens was the final blow following forced board resignations of the CEOs of J.P. Stevens, New York Life Insurance and Avon Products from the boards of Manufacturers Hanover Bank, New York Life Insurance and J.P. Stevens.
New York Times veteran labor reporter A.H. Raskin hailing the union's creative use of corporate strategy wrote: "Pressure on giant banks and insurance companies and other Wall Street pillars, all aimed at isolating Stevens from the financial community, helped generate a momentum toward settlement that could not be achieved through the 1976-80 worldwide boycott of Stevens' products or through more conventional uses of union muscle such as strikes and mass picketing."
In 1981, the Daily News Record, an industry newspaper quoted J.P. Stevens vice president of industrial relations who stated: "Of the three major tactics employed by ACTWU during its confrontation with Stevens, the Corporate Campaign, designed to cut Stevens off from the financial community was the most effective."
In the Dallas Morning News in April 1987, there's a photo of Crystal and me leading a demonstration of American Airlines flight attendants whose union was fighting against onerous working conditions, a fight that was successful.
Ray Rogers and Crystal Lee Sutton leading a demonstration of flight attendants
Crystal, you'll be sorely missed, not only by your family and friends, but by millions of others who you inspired by your example and on whose behalf you fought for justice.
As reported by the Associated Press, "Sutton donated her letters and papers to Alamance Community College in 2007. She said: 'I didn't want them to go to some fancy university; I wanted them to go to a college that served the ordinary folks'."
Ray Rogers, Director, Corporate Campaign, Inc.
Daily Kos, "The Real 'Norma Rae' Died Yesterday - Insurance Delayed Cancer Medication," September 12, 2009
"Crystal Lee Sutton, the real-life inspiration for the 1979 movie 'Norma Rae,' died Friday after a battle with meningioma, cancer of the meninges, at the age of 68. Her actions helped to bring a union contract to employees at a J.P. Stevens textile plant in Roanoke Rapids, NC, and she gained national fame as a symbol of women's and laborers' right after her efforts (and jailing) were fictionalized in the movie.
"Ironically, she has also become a symbol for the corruption and dysfunction of the American health care system. In a year-old newspaper interview, Sutton compared insurance company behavior to murder.
"She went two months without possible life-saving medications because her insurance wouldn't cover it, another example of abusing the working poor, she said.
" 'How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death,' she said. 'It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.' "
Truthout, "You Probably Knew Crystal Lee Sutton," by Connie Schultz, September 16, 2009
"She was a warrior to the end," Price said.
" 'I've never seen any woman fight cancer as hard as she did. She was in a wheelchair in the last few months, and she wanted me to push her to a protest about a school's teacher cuts.'
"Last year, a Burlington Times News reporter asked Sutton how she'd like to be remembered. 'It is not necessary I be remembered as anything,' she said, 'but I would like to be remembered as a woman who deeply cared for the working poor and the poor people of the U.S. and the world. That my family and children and children like mine will have a fair share and equality.' "
L.A. Times, "Crystal Lee Sutton dies at 68; union organizer inspired Oscar-winning film 'Norma Rae'," by Elaine Woo, September 20, 2009
"Crystal Lee Sutton, whose defiance of factory bosses invigorated a long-running battle to unionize Southern mill workers and formed the dramatic heart of the Academy Award-winning movie "Norma Rae," died Sept. 11 in Burlington, N.C. She was 68.
"The cause was brain cancer, said her son, Jay Jordan.
"In 1973, Sutton worked at the J.P. Stevens textile plant in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Fed up with the poor pay and working conditions, she joined the Textile Workers Union of America and became an organizer whose activism quickly earned the wrath of management.
"Moments after being fired, she wrote 'UNION' on a piece of cardboard, climbed onto a table in the middle of the factory floor and raised the sign for co-workers to see. Stunned by her courage, they switched off their machines and focused on the 33-year-old mother of three who earned $2.65 an hour.
"Some raised their fingers in a V for victory, but a union contract was still years away.
"The victory that day was over fear.
" 'Stand up for what you believe in, no matter how hard it makes life for you,' Sutton, reflecting on her iconic protest, told the Burlington Times News last year. 'Do not give up, and always say what you believe.'
"Her rebellion inspired one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history, when it was reenacted by actress Sally Field in an Oscar-winning performance in ' ae' (1979)."
Washington Post, "Labor Organizer Was Inspiration for 'Norma Rae' " By Patricia Sullivan, September 16, 2009
"Crystal Lee Sutton, 68, a textile worker who rebelled against the low pay and poor conditions in a Southern mill to urge its workers to unionize and whose life inspired the film "Norma Rae," died of brain cancer Sept. 11 at a hospice in Burlington, N.C.
"Ms. Sutton, a 33-year-old mother of three who earned $2.65 per hour folding towels at the J.P. Stevens textile plant, was fired in 1973 for her pro-union activity. Before the police hauled her off the factory floor, the 16-year veteran of the job wrote "UNION" on a piece of cardboard, climbed on to a table and slowly rotated so her fellow workers could see her protest.
"Her colleagues responded by shutting down their machines, in defiance of management orders."
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5. AFT Resolution Raises Questions About TIAA-CREF's Investments
American Federation of Teachers, "Aligning TIAA-CREF Investment Policies with Participant Ethical Standards," October 14, 2009
"WHEREAS, the AFT has protested and sought to change the unfair labor practices of many corporations currently included in TIAA-CREF's stock portfolio (e.g., Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, Nike and others) whose contractors and sub-contractors routinely pay sub-poverty wages and suppress workers' rights to organize and collectively bargain..."
TIAA-CREF's Social Choice Account divested 1.25 million shares of Coca-Cola Company stock when the company was dropped from KLD Research & Analytics list of socially responsible companies. KLD is an independent research firm that is considered a world leader in defining corporate responsibility standards. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that "KLD based its decisions on a number of issues - labor and human rights issues in Colombia, environmental issues in India and the marketing of high-calorie drinks to children in the United States..."
Coca-Cola Enterprises was later dropped by TIAA-CREF's Social Choice Account. However, TIAA-CREF, whose motto is "Financial Services for the Greater Good" continues to hold nearly one billion dollars in Coca-Cola stock and other substantial investments in bottlers involved in worldwide human rights and environmental abuses. It's time that TIAA-CREF took necessary action against Coke that would lead to change in the company's criminal and immoral behavior.
It's a travesty for TIAA-CREF to suggest that it is a leader in promoting social responsibility and to advertise itself as providing "Financial Services for the Greater Good " when it has millions invested in companies like Coca-Cola and Reynolds American, Inc. (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco), a leading producer of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Campaign Director Ray Rogers has been aiding the
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6. Coke Workers in Ireland Strike to Protect Union Jobs
The strike by workers in Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCHBC) in Ireland centers on moves by the company to outsource around 130 jobs in distribution in various sites around the country because "Siptu (the union representing these workers) says that the 130 workers were sacked after they refused to accept new terms which could have seen their pay reduced by up to 60 percent."
The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, owns 23 percent of Irish bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic and ultimately calls the shots over labor and other policies of CCHBC and its other bottlers.
As leading business magazine Forbes pointed out in a December 2003 article, "Coke's Sinful World":
"The biggest bottlers aren't subsidiaries of Coke, nor are they completely independent. Coke effectively controls them by maintaining big equity stakes and a heavy presence on their boards, and by providing their main source of business. Yet it keeps its stakes in the bottlers below 50% thereby avoiding getting hit with their piles of debt and any unpleasant liabilities."
Irial Finan, Executive Vice President and President of Bottling Investments and Supply Chain of The Coca-Cola Company, was formerly the chief executive officer of CCHBC and currently is a member of its board of directors. He is also a member of the boards of Galway University Foundation and Co-operation Ireland USA. It should be noted that Finan is also on the board of Colombian bottler Coca-Cola FEMSA.
Ron Allen, one of the top fourteen policymakers on the board of The Coca-Cola Company, also has a presence in Ireland. Mr. Allen serves on the boards of Air Castle Limited in Ireland (along with Coca-Cola Co. Director Peter Ueberroth), Interstate Hotels & Resorts, (Marriott Ashbourne in County Meath, Ireland), and Tourism Development International in Dublin, Ireland. He was the former CEO of Delta Airlines and now serves as an advisory director for Delta.
SWP.ie, "South Dublin County Council votes to back Coca-Cola Strikers," October 18, 2009
Video, "Coke Workers- It's the Real Strike!"
Video, "Siptu Protest to Defend Jobs at Coca-Cola"
Galway Advertiser, "Galway Labour urges boycott of Coca-Cola products in support of Tuam strikers," By Kernan Andews, October 15, 2009
"Labour in Galway is urging the public to temporarily boycott Coca Cola products as a way of sending a message to the company over its handling of the situation in its Tuam plant. At a recent meeting of its constituency council, The Labour Party in Galway, passed a motion supporting the position of the Coca Cola workers, particularly those from Tuam."
Irish Times, "Coke Strike 'a danger to 1,100 jobs'," By Martin Wall, October 14, 2009
The row centres on moves by the company to out-source around 130 jobs in distribution in various centres around the county. Siptu says that the 130 workers were sacked after they refused to accept new terms which could have seen their pay reduced by up to 60 per cent.
IUF News, "Coca-Cola Ireland workers need your support," October 9, 2009
The Irish Times, "Siptu calls for campaign against Coca Cola," Pamela Newenham, October 6, 2009
"SIPTU has called for an international campaign against soft drinks giant Coca Cola over the company's decision to outsource 130 jobs."
Belfast Telegraph, "Coca Cola rejects Labour Court recommendation," September 30, 2009
"SIPTU claims Coca Cola management has rejected a Labour Court recommendation aimed at ending a six-week dispute at the company's Irish operation."
Irish Times, "Three-week Coca Cola dispute goes to Labour Court," By Martin Wall, September 18, 2009
"About 130 workers have been on strike over plans to outsource jobs in its warehousing and distribution centres. Yesterday, about 50 strikers staged a protest at the headquarters of Coca-Cola Ireland in Dublin."
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7. Bottled Water Scams
The Irish Times, "Time to pull the plug on the bottled water swindle," By John Gibbons, October 15, 2009
"Globally, bottled water requires the production of about 300 billion plastic bottles a year, of which maybe one in five is recycled. Transportation, packaging, distribution and dealing with the waste generates tens of millions of tonnes of carbon emissions - and for what exactly? About 40 per cent of all bottled water sold is simply municipal tap water put into plastic bottles by corporations such Pepsi (Aquafina) and Coca-Cola (Dasani) and then sold back to the public in plastic containers.
"This is a peculiar form of double taxation for consumers. First, they pay to have a safe, high-quality public water supply, then they pay again to drink the very water they have already paid to purify. The difference is that, even with water charges, it's up to 10,000 times more expensive to drink bottled versus tap water."
Guardian (UK), "Coca-Cola ads for Glaceau Vitamin Water banned:ASA censures campaign for misleading health and nutrition claims, in part because the drinks are sugar-laden," By Mark Sweney, October 7, 2009
"The ASA also said the drinks could not be considered to be "healthy" because each 500ml bottle contained 26% of the recommended daily allowance of sugar. " 'Because we considered the ads made claims that were likely to be understood as referring to the nutritional and health benefits of the drinks, it was likely that, in conjunction with these claims, readers would infer that the range of drinks were "healthy",' said the ASA. 'Because the drinks contained a significant proportion of a consumer's RDA for sugar we concluded the ads were likely to mislead.' "
National Coke Week of Action
Corporate Accountability International, "National Coke Week of Action: Muhtar Kent, Tell the truth about Dasani's source"
"This summer, Congress sent letters to Coke and 12 other industry CEO's demanding to know the sites and sources of its bottled water. Most of Dasani comes from public water supplies, though you wouldn't know from the label!
"Coke has made it clear that, even with the demands of Congress and thousands of people around the country, it'll take much more for it to come clean.
"Now is the time to tell Coke to put this information on its Dasani brand labels. Send a message to CEO Muhtar Kent and join the hundreds taking action across the country during this National Coke Week of Action."
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8. Coke Partners with Doctors' Group & Doctors Quit
Contra Costa Times, "Coca-Cola link spurs Contra Costa doctors to quit national association," By Sandy Kleffman, October 28, 2009
"Nearly 20 Contra Costa County physicians resigned in disgust Wednesday from a national professional association because of its alliance with the Coca-Cola Co., which they said conflicts with their fight against obesity.
" 'I am appalled and ashamed of this partnership between Coca-Cola and the American Academy of Family Physicians,'" said Dr. William Walker, director of health services for the county. " 'How can any organization that claims to promote public health join forces with a company that promotes products that put our children at risk for obesity, heart disease and early death?' "
Chicago Tribune, "Coke Partners with Doctors' Group," By Julie Deardorff, October 9, 2009
"The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) announced this week that it will receive a six-figure grant from Coke to develop educational material to teach consumers about the role beverages and sweeteners can play in a healthy, active lifestyle, said AAFP president-elect Lori Heim...
"But some outspoken critics now wonder what those principles are. They call the partnership an embarrassing conflict of interest and say the venture will - and should - undermine the credibility of the AAFP, one of the leading family doctor groups in the U.S.
" 'For someone trying to lose weight, the first piece of advice is to cut out soft drinks, cold turkey,' said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, who called for dissenting AAFP members to make their voices heard. 'Will the AAFP's educational materials make that point? I doubt it. Expect to see 'all foods can be part of healthful diets' and averted eyes in conversations about taxing soft drinks,' she said."
Kansas City Star, "Marriages of convenience: Medical groups join with food companies," By Rick Montgomery and Alan Bavley, October 31, 2009
"The two organizations last month sealed a deal that had Coca-Cola giving the academy a grant in the mid six figures to come up with health messages for the public about beverages and sweeteners. The academy and Coca-Cola said the information would be based on objective science. But doctors, nutrition experts and consumer advocates charge that Coca-Cola is proffering the money just to improve its reputation and possibly to buy the academy's silence."
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9. Coke and the Environmental Messes
Kalamazoo Gazette, "Some Paw Paw residents unhappy with Coke plant as tainted water continues to cause problems," By Sarah Crone, September 20, 2009
" 'The biggest thing is health concerns and our property values being zip,' said Stump, whose Paw Paw Road household is among more than 20 that stand east of a Coca-Cola Co. North America juice plant and whose well water has been tainted by the plant's juice wastes, which were sprayed on nearby fields."
News Channel 25, "Coca-Cola plant giving off 'sewage smell'," by Henry Rosoff, October 15, 2009
"Something smells funny at Kathy Sommerkamp's flower shop on Hewitt Drive. 'It just stinks here,' Sommerkamp said. 'It stinks like we have cows.' The 'stink,' she said, is coming from the Coca-Cola plant just up the street. A spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said the plant recently started pre-treating waste at the plant."
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10. The Cost of a Coke, 2nd Edition
Video, "The Cost of a Coke 2nd Edition," By Matt Beard
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11. More Coke Lies Exposed in India
India Resource Center, "Got Drought? Build a Coca-Cola Bottling Plant!" By Amit Srivastava, September 24, 2009
" In 2007, facing growing opposition to its water management practices, particularly in India, Coca-Cola's CEO, Neville Isdell came up with a brilliant idea. The Coca-Cola company, he announced, will become water neutral, replenishing every drop of water they use, and therefore, as the suggestion went, Coca-Cola would have no impact of water resources around the world. Voila! Problem solved, a company using 300 billion liters of water annually would have no impact on water resources. Sustainability doesn't get any better than that. The only problem was that Coca-Cola knew that water neutrality was impossible to achieve."
DNA (Daily News & Analysis), "Committee receives complaints from public about Coca-Cola plant," October 9, 2009
"The high powered committee appointed by the Kerala government to assess the damage and compensation on account of the functioning of Coca-Cola plant at Plachimada in Palakkad district, today held a sitting and received complaints from the public."
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12. Does Coke CEO Kent REALLY Believe Soda Tax is a Socialist Conspiracy?
The Boston Globe, "Soda tax: It's the real thing," By Derrick Z. Jackson, September 19, 2009
"AS CALLS mount for soda to be taxed because of its link to the nation's obesity epidemic, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent tried this week to tar the tax as socialist, taking a page from the Republicans single-word playbook against health care reform, bailouts, and even President Obama's back-to-school speeches...
"It is ironic for Coca Cola to complain about Big Brother when the company has so thoroughly brainwashed the world. Coke and the other soft drink makers (this includes sports/energy drinks) have seduced Americans to double their daily intake of calories from sugar water since the late 1970s, fueling a tripling of obesity among youth 12 to 19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..."
San Francisco Chronicle, "Coca-Cola chief slams proposed S.F. soda tax," By Andrew S. Ross, September 20, 2009
"If San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom thinks the negative reactions on SFGate and elsewhere to his soda tax proposal suggest the shape of things to come, wait until the chief of Coca-Cola Co. calls him a communist sympathizer. 'I've never seen it work where a government tells people what to eat and what to drink,' CEO Muhtar Kent said last week...
"Although it's a mystery as to how the Socialist Republic of Arkansas continues to survive with a soda tax its citizens have been paying since 1992. Not to mention the communist fiefdoms of Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia, which have similar taxes."
The New York Times, "Considering a Tax on That Can of Soda," Letters, September 21, 2009
"Even better than a new tax, however, would be to have the federal government withdraw all subsidies for corn because most of those soft drinks are sweetened now with high-fructose corn syrup, not sugar. We are using taxpayer money to underwrite the fattening of America, which is absurd."
"I recently toured the Coca-Cola center in Atlanta. The marketing glitz was beyond belief. It is no wonder that half the world is now addicted to sugary beverages. If this same marketing genius had been used to promote healthier foods and beverages, we wouldn't have to deal with the current obesity epidemic or its ensuing health care demands."
"I remember sitting in my high school biology class in 1993 and learning about the evils of soda. Unlike today's crusade against sugar, however, the health risks that were highlighted for me included the high phosphorus and acid content of all sodas. The phosphorus in carbonated beverages leaches calcium from our bones, increasing risk for osteoporosis, and the acid in soda can erode tooth enamel."
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Coke CEO calls soft-drink tax 'outrageous'," by Joe Guy Collier, September 14, 2009
Coke CEO Muhtar Kent said that none of Coca-Cola's drinks are unhealthy.
Editorial Comment: Are you kidding?
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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
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