BlackBox Radio

November 1, 2005

Local Headlines 11-01

Filed under: Weekly Show — blackboxradio @ 9:40 pm

Last Wednesday, student representatives pulled out of a commission of students, labor rights experts, and university administrators who were planning an independent investigation of the Coca Cola Company’s human rights abuses in Colombia and India.

The student members of the commission, including Clara Hardie from the University of Michigan, said Coca-Cola was blocking the commission from beginning the independent investigation. They also claimed Coke was hiding behind the commission as new cases of human rights violations surface in Turkey, Indonesia, Guatemala, and Peru. Administrators on the commission say they will continue negotiating with Coca-Cola. But Hardie says that any investigation that results from the corrupt process will not be seen as legitimate in the eyes of students who initially brought the complaints about Coca-Cola to Michigan administrators.

The Coca-Cola Company failed to meet the University of Michigan’s deadline of agreeing to an independent investigation of allegations which violate U of M’s ethical code of conduct for vendors. While the University administration ignored the missed deadline, student activists continue to work to hold both the company and the university accountable.

Tuesday, witnesses of Coca Cola’s crimes will be speaking at the School of Social Work building at 6PM.

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Last Wednesday October 26, over 55 people attended a vigil in front of the Ann Arbor Federal building to commemorate the 2,000th soldier’s death in Iraq, in conjunction with nation-wide vigils held called by MoveOn.org, United for Peace and Justice, and International ANSWER. The names of the 62 servicepeople from Michigan who have died in Iraq were read aloud.

Susan Wright, a Research Scientist at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender) also circulated a petition to be sent to Congress pushing for withdrawal.

The “People’s Petition for an Iraq Process” is being circulated by two national organizations, Peace Action and Progressive Democrats of America, both of which are members of United for Peace and Justice, a huge coalition of hundreds of national and local peace and justice organizations.

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