The Cold, Crisp Taste of Death

If you’re a college student like me, you’ve probably spent a reasonable amount of time channel surfing. As a result you observed a variety of advertising strategies, some of which have persuaded you to purchase a certain product, and others which simply triggered an urge to hurl the nearest object towards the screen. Such a scenario comes to my mind when I hear the catchy, feel good jingle of a Coca Cola commercial from the seventies and revived in 2005: “I’d like to teach the world to chill, take time to stop and smile. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and chill with it a while. I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” Upon watching this commercial, maybe you cracked open a Coca Cola. Perhaps instead you opted for the nearest object to toss at the screen. Personally, I chose the latter. The Coca Cola Corporation is the antithesis of the warm, freedom-embracing message that the commercial suggests the company represents. In fact, Coca Cola is responsible for an extensive list of violent crimes against its labor workers in Colombia.Sentiment against Coca Cola has grown into an international movement to boycott the company’s products and spread awareness of its social and environmental consequences. Leading the movement is the Killer Coke Campaign, which aims to hold Coca Cola accountable for its severe attack on the rights of Colombian workers. Highlighting the campaign have been major actions among universities to terminate the vending of Coke products on their campuses. Students for Peace and Global Justice is determined to create a campaign at the University of Vermont which will parallel the tenacity, devotion, and success of programs at NYU and Michigan. To kick off the campaign against Coke at UVM, SFPGJ will be hosting the presence of Mr. Luis Alfonso Cardona on campus. Mr. Cardona is a former Colombian Coca Cola labor worker and current union organizer for SINALTRAINAL, the National Food Industry Workers Union. Camilo Romero, national organizer of United Students Against Sweatshops and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, will accompany Cardona to share his knowledge and ideas regarding student action against Coca Cola. The words of Luis Alfonso Cardona himself call out to students to take charge of the movement against Coca Cola: “We declare a world-wide boycott to obligate them (Coca Cola) to change, and that’s why we have focused our efforts on students, because you have the power to change the world.” Mr. Cardona’s presentation will take place on Tuesday, March 7, at 7pm in Williams 301. Farther information can be found at http://www.killercoke.org