Thursday, February 01, 2007

I Have Found a Name for my Pain

and it is:
Coca Cola, Nestle, Philip Morris (aka Marlboro), Wal-Mart, Caterpillar, Ford, Exxon, Nike, McDonalds, GAP, Kodak, M&M, Mars, Pepsi
Suggested Boycott Targets(at least I intend to avoid their products from now on)
Why? Let's start with:
Now don't get me wrong, I like the stuff myself. Get a nice buzz off it for writing ideas. The trouble is, even before looking at the dirt below, is that it rots your teeth. As if that isn't bad enough, the corporation seems to be guilty of various human rights issues, according to the web site, global exchange . These range from violent killings to kidnap and torture, to health violations. Not a pretty thought that we, as consumers, are actually paying these guys money and encouraging them to engage in these sorts of practices. Kind of like being an accomplice in a way. Want to do something about it? Simple. Just keep your money in your pocket the next time you think about having a coke. Or have a nice glass of tomato juice instead, preferably from local producers.
If any of the below is wrong in any way, please let me know. Otherwise I'm going to cut and paste myself into a frenzy and start firing boycott-related emails off to every one in my address book in about a week.
"Human Rights Abuses: violent killings, kidnap and torture, water privatization, health violations, and discriminatory practices

Coca-Cola Company is perhaps the most widely recognized corporate symbol on the planet. The company also leads in the abuse of workers' rights, assassinations, water privatization, and worker discrimination. Between 1989 and 2002, eight union leaders from Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia were killed after protesting the company's labor practices. Hundreds of other Coca-Cola workers who have joined or considered joining the Colombian union SINALTRAINAL have been kidnapped, tortured, and detained by paramilitaries who intimidate workers to prevent them from unionizing. In Turkey, 14 Coca-Cola truck drivers and their families were beaten severely by Turkish police hired by the company, while protesting a layoff of 1,000 workers from a local bottling plant in 2005. "
A far cry from the nice red and white design for Santa Claus we've all been thanking Coca Cola for the past few months.
"In India, Coca-Cola destroys local agriculture by privatizing the country's water resources. In Plachimada, Kerala, Coca-Cola extracted 1.5 million liters of deep well water, which they bottled and sold under the names Dasani and BonAqua. The groundwater was severely depleted, affecting thousands of communities with water shortages and destroying agricultural activity. As a result, the remaining water became contaminated with high chloride and bacteria levels, leading to scabs, eye problems, and stomach aches in the local population. Water shortages have occurred in Varanasi, Thane, and Tamil Nadu as well. The company is also guilty of reselling its plants' industrial waste to farmers as fertilizers, despite its containing hazardous lead and cadmium."

Occasionally when I take a drink of tap water, I wonder where it came from, what's in it, and what will it do to my stomach. Fortunately I am not in a country now where I have to worry so much about those things. But what about all the people who are?
"Coca-Cola is one of the most discriminatory employers in the world. In the year 2000, 2,000 African-American employees in the U.S. sued the company for race-based disparities in pay and promotions. In México, Coca-Cola FEMSA, the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America, fired a senior bottling manager for being gay. Finally, by regularly denying health insurance to employees and their families, Coca Cola has failed to help stop the spread of AIDS in Africa. The company is one of the continent's largest private employers, yet only partially covers expensive medicines, while not covering generic medicines at all. "
I heard once from a colleague that if a large corporation's actions, as an entity, were taken as being those of one person, from a psychological standpoint they would be diagnosed as psychotic. In light of the above I find it all the more convincing, not to mention alarming.
Parts in italics from: global exchange/corporate violators Everything else is my own.


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