Wednesday, April 12, 2006

We have reached a turning point

Despite some technical difficulties, our presentations today were very successful. About 750 students have signed the petition to remove Coca-Cola from Loyola Academy. That represents a third of the entire school. The Marillac Room was so full some periods that we had to turn away people because there just wasn't enough room. Thanks to all who sat on the floor and endured the heat to hear us.

Over the course of the next week and a half, Tom, Dan, and I will figure out what further steps to take. We will meet again with the Loyola administration and bring your signatures to them. This campaign has gained lots of momentum thanks to your efforts. We have the power to create change, and Coca-Cola will realize this and be forced to address our concerns.

Of course, there will always be those who try to stop what we're doing. What comes to mind are the people who wrote fictitious names on the petition. It really disappoints me that certain people didn't have the courage to speak up about their concerns and instead took the coward's route by writing false names on our petition. We're fighting an uphill battle here, in many senses, because Coca-Cola has pervaded our everyday lives. Coke products are there wherever you look. But no matter how many advertisements they buy, how many bottles they sell, or how well-known they become, you still have your own free will, and they can never take that away from you. That is why the voices of normal high school students can reach a critical volume too loud to ignore. That is what is happening at Loyola.

Thank you to everyone who came today. Keep up the good work, and have a good break.

"It's time for greatness -- not for greed. It's a time for idealism -- not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action."
-Marian Wright Edelman

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had a question about how the actions of the AUC would be affected by Coca-Cola withdrawing from negotiations with them. If Coke did drop out then there really is no guarantee that the AUC would stop their actions. Infact, I believe that it is very possible that their deeds could become more radical without an international company holding them down. With an international company behind the AUC there is more of a chance of international investigations and of shutting down their entire operation. Without a large company such as Coca-Cola there are fewer boundries to hold them back and to stop them. I believe that the AUC would become more radical and violent then it is now without Coca-Cola's negotiations. You really should be attacking the AUC and not Coca-Cola.

P.S. The University of Illinois Urbana-Chaimpagne has not boycotted Coca-Cola and there is no petition concerning this matter at the U of I. Coca-Cola is a major sponsor of the university.

-Phillip Henry '09

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of putting down fake names. Why is there only one moderator of this group putting forth their name? Sounds like some people are afraid of revelaing who they are. If you are so adamant about your cause at least you could use your real name when debating it.

Thomas Paine - stop using the name of a historic person who has dignity as your cover-up for absurd cause.

9:14 PM  
Anonymous Christine Hooyman said...

The presentation today was awesome. You all did a great job.

Hopefully more people will start commenting, so I’ll feel like less of an idiot. Anyway, I found some of the points the last poster from the previous blog entry (anonymous) wrote were worth further discussion.

Killercoke.com is a biased site. It was created with a specific intent and viewpoint on the issue. However, Killercoke supports its assertions with articles and documents from reputable sources and the Coca Cola corporation itself. Likewise, Cokefacts.com presents a bias as well. This site was created by the Coca Cola corporation. I find it funny that killercoke.com links you to cokefacts.com. The assumption being, that persons trying to view Killercoke.org would be re-directed to a site completely disputing Killer Coke’s views. Also, PBS is a biased source. Any news media is. I have often found that even independent newspapers/sources have a bias. Now, having a bias is not necessarily a horrible thing. What’s important is for us as readers to recognize that bias and try to best inform ourselves by reading material from all sides of the issue.

I think the Coca Cola corporation has ultimate responsibility. However, to simply “blame [the] top” solves nothing. As we were reminded today at the presentation, we the consumers have extreme influence and power. We also claim responsibility. By making a statement, such as boycotting Coca Cola products, we display our disappointment with Coca Cola and our desire for change.

So, if don’t really believe that Colombians are being tortured, disappeared or killed, perhaps this will concern you. Coca Cola has violated many safety and sanitary standards. Its leading competitor, Pepsi-Cola has not experienced these same problems.

Coca Cola Minute Maid and Pepsi Cola Tropicana both had processing plants in Florida. In 1996, Coca Cola decided to outsource to Cutrale, a Brazilian juice company. Since then, Coca Cola has had three separate juice recalls, whereas Pepsi Cola has had none. Coca Cola’s plant has also experienced serious accidents including explosions, an electrical accident that resulted in death and two major chemical leaks that led to shutdowns and evacuations of plants and worker hospitalizations. Furthermore, OSHA, or the Occupation Safety and Health Administration has given repeated violations to Coca Cola for rodent and bird feces on their production lines.

For more: http://www.cokewatch.org/consumer.htm

I hope everyone has a great break. I probably won't be visiting as frequently, but I'll be sure to comment when I get back ;)


PS: Anonymous 2 (the poster right above me)—I am assuming you are from MySpace or not directly affiliated with Loyola Academy. The three students leading this campaign are well-known throughout the school. Tom and Joe are extremely dedicated to this cause. Dan, who has chosen to use his full name is equally involved. Do not discredit or disregard these guys, because of their screename. They are articulate, informed and dedicated. I have much respect for them, and believe they all hold dignity for themselves and this cause.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Thomas Paine said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous -

My name is Joseph Thompson-Wilda and I will not be intimidated by you or anyone else.

I chose the name Thomas Paine because of the significant role that he had in another revolution.

If you don't like it, be a man and talk to me in person.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, I want to say that I think what you guys are doing is fantastic. I admire that you three can be so passionate about your cause and I have a great amount of respect for you. But, I do have one question that kept running through my mind during your 4th period presentation. What happens if coke actually is removed from Loyola? Speaking as someone who still has some time to spend at Loyola (and enjoys a diet coke a day), not everyone (especially those who aren’t members of the class of ‘06) is as enthusiastic as you guys. What happens when you guys graduate and we’re left coke-less, bitter, and downright Pepsi-ed out, while you guys trot around your college or university not worrying about the high school kids you pissed off and telling your great “Hey, I got coke removed from my high school!” story? Just a thought.

P.S. I signed my real name.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Thomas Paine said...

From the reaction of most people at the presentations last week, I don't think that most people would be pissed off. For those who are angry, they would still be able to bring Coke to school. It really is a personal choice (to give up Coke) that people have to make before they jump on board this campaign. I understand that some people will not want to give up what they consume. However, I think that the vast majority of Loyola students are willing to switch to another brand of cola until Coke gets its act together.

There is a strong chance that this will not be over after we graduate, which is why we hope to involve younger students (especially those taking Justice Seminar next year) after we leave Loyola. If you're interested in helping out next year (if this isn't finished by the end of the year) email/talk to one of us and we'll try to get you involved.

And thanks for signing your real name :) My tirade was directed at the handful of people who didn't so I hope it didn't sound too condescending to all the people who took the petition seriously.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Greg L. said...

I am looking for a forum to advertise a parking space near Loyola Academy. Can you suggest a place? Thanks.

grl727@yahoo.com
(847) 251-4259
(847) 420-3983

2:56 PM  

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