Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hot off the Presses

The local media may not be covering the Coca Cola Controversy, but at least the Loyola Prep is. Last week, the school newspaper featured my letter to the editor concerning the campaign. I am also working on getting published in some local newspapers. Those of you living in Wilmette, Winnetka, Norridge, Skokie, Niles, Mt Prospect, Mundelein, Park Ridge, and Northbrook, should check your local newspapers throughout the month of May for my articles. Due to the length of my article in the Loyola Prep, I have decided to put it in the 'comments' sections of this post, rather than post the entire thing here. The editors chose to censor certain parts of my article in the paper, but you will find the complete uncensored version here. All are free to read it, as well as make comments, ask questions, or complain in the comments section. I would like to once again repeat our policy of not deleting anyone's comments, so feel free to speak your mind. Finally, I would like to thank Teddy Powers '07 (editor-in-chief) and Mrs. Gombac (Moderator), who made the entire thing possible.


Blogger DanielWozniczka said...

Killer Cola

Sugar, Carbonated Water, Corn Syrup, and the blood of innocent men, women and children-these are the ingredients that make Coca Cola.
In an effort to improve labor conditions, workers have been forming unions in Coca Cola bottling plants in Columbia for several years now. The formation of unions poses a serious threat to the profits of the Coca Cola Corporation, as the company may be forced to improve working conditions or the wages of its workers. Thus, Coca Cola-FEMSA, the corporation directly controlling the bottling plants, has been attempting to break the unions formed by the workers. In order to do this, according to several eye witness accounts, they have negotiated the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), which is a paramilitary group that has been recognized as a terrorist network by the United States. The AUC has killed eight union leaders at this point, and hundreds more have been captured, tortured, or threatened with death. What is truly worrisome though, are the dozens of individuals that have mysteriously “disappeared” without a trace. A father may leave one day for work, and never return, with his family left praying that he will return someday.
The workers involved in these unions, simply attempting to put food on the table for their families, are risking not only their life, but the life of their families too. The paramilitary forces are stalking, and kidnapping children of families as well. David Jose Carranza Calle was kidnapped, tortured, and forced to disclose the location of his father, a Coca-Cola worker and union leader. David had two options: die protecting his father’s location, or live knowing that he helped the AUC kill his father.
Coca Cola has denied its involvement in the deaths and human rights violations in Columbia. Technically speaking, Coca Cola does not directly own the plants in Columbia, but this is simply a way for Coca Cola to separate themselves from human rights abuses at these plants. Afterall, Coca-Cola has contracts with Coca-Cola FEMSA, and Coca Cola products such as Coke, Sprite, Dasani, Minute Maid, Powerade are all bottled in these plants. The Coca Cola Corporation has knowingly profitted from the deaths of Columbians, and they refuse to allow an independent investigation.
The Coca Cola controversy has spread to numerous universities, including some popular schools for Loyola graduates: Boston College, Depaul, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Loyola, Miami of Ohio, Purdue, St. Louis, Wisconsin-Madison, University of Chicago, UIC, and U of I Urbana-Champaign. The full list of universities is simply too long to write, but protests and student activism can be seen in almost one hundred and fifty universities in America and Europe. This my friends, is where Loyola Academy comes into the picture.
Students in the Justice Seminar course prepare an end of the year project called a Magis Project. I, Daniel Wozniczka, alongside my partners, Joe Thompson-Wilda and Thomas Clifford, have chosen to attempt to boycott Coca Cola products from Loyola Academy as our Magis Project. Loyola Academy, much like other schools, has a distribution deal with Coca Cola. Both Loyola and Coca Cola profit substantially from this deal. As I stated earlier, student groups in over one hundred fifty universities are attempting to ban Coca Cola, but only a few high schools have taken a stand on the issue.
The mottos for Loyola Academy are “Women and Men for Others” and “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (translation: For the Greater Glory of God).” Does continuing to do business with a corporation with ties to murder reflect either of these two mottos? This article that you are reading is the start of things to come. In the coming weeks we will be giving presentations to numerous groups, such as the Dumbach Scholars and Amnesty International. On April 12th, the day before spring break, we will be giving presentations in the Merillac Room every period of the day. Every Religious Studies Department teacher has been invited to bring their class to our presentation. A large turn out is expected, but there is no guarantee that your class will be attending the presentation. Thus, I ask that you encourage your religious studies teacher to take your class to our presentation on April 12th. In the mean time, please visit our website to learn more, or, you can email me personally at We ask that you spread the word about the controversy to your friends and parents. I hope to see you on April 12th.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous T. Powers said...

Wait, Dan, I don't remember censoring anything. What did Mrs. Gombac change and did it hurt your case at all?

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Loyola 03', University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign 07' said...

Ah yes the killer coke argument meets Loyola Academy. Mr. Woznicka when the killer coke movement came to Urbana they were embarassed by pro coca cola groups. Coca Cola is a publicly traded company that defines America. Coca Cola is the most recognizable symbol in the world and this unfounded hearsay is blasphamy. When Killer Coke took their arguments to the court they were shut down by a Latino judge and, as a result of lack of evidence, he stated that Coca Cola was not at fault for any deaths at the bottling plant. Secondly, the Coca Cola company sells its syrip to bottlers around the world. They do not take any part in the bottling protion of their product (coca cola quarterly report). Lastly, Coca Cola has donated a ton of money to not only underprivalaged areas of the United States but also the world including Columbia, India and Mexico. Coca Cola is very important to these countries, for example, Coca Cola employees 131,000 people which, in contrast, is about the same ratio as the number of wal-mart employees in the US, the same country where the company is based. Killer Coke is anti-American not only because of this false argument but because it is a person complaining to hear themself complain. Frankly, if I were coca cola I would sue the CACC for libel. For more on the University of Illinois at Urbana fight against killer coke you can visit this website:

8:59 PM  

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