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FNM Call to Action (12/14/97)Stop Coca-Cola in Madison WI...

  P.O. Box 441395 
  Indianapolis, IN 46244 
  Phone/Fax +1 (317)216-4590 
  Email:  PR@FreeNigeria.org 
  Website: http://www.FreeNigeria.org 
  Listserv: Maiser@listserv.butler.edu, text of message "SUBSCRIBE
  Radio Station:  Voice of Free Nigeria (VoFN) 11.645 kHz, every
  Saturday at 
  1900Hrs GMT (8:OOpm Nigerian Time) 
  “Nigeria, Nazi Germany of the 90s” 
                             -Ibrahim H. Muhammed 
  For immediate Release 
  (please distribute widely) 
             Urgent Action Needed to prevent the Madison Metropolitan
  School District (MMSD)from entering into a US$1,500,000  marketing
  contract with Coca-Cola
  Contact Nasiru Ikharo at  +1(317)216-4590 or PR@FreeNigeria.org 
  Sunday, December 14th, 1997 
         The board members of the Madison Metropolitan School District
  in the State of Wisconsin, U.S.A. are set to “evaluate” their
  decision to allow a 
  US$1.5 million marketing contract with Coca-Cola tomorrow, Monday,
  15th, 1997. 
         The Free Nigeria Movement, in support of the call made by the
  “Ad Hoc 
  Committee to defend Madison Schools”, a coalition which includes
  groups such 
  as “UW Alliance for Democracy”, “UW Greens”, and the “Madison
  Wisconsin Education Association” among others, strongly opposes this
  contract , which is seen primarily as a method of projecting a
  positive corporate 
  image for Coca-Cola in the Madison area, especially among the
  children enrolled 
  in the district’s public schools. We ask you to get in touch and
  request the board 
  to rescind the contract. 
       The hearing is scheduled to take place at 4:45pm, in Rm. 103,
  Building (545 W.Dayton). If you can afford to be present in order to
  voice your 
  opposition, please do so, if your presence is not possible, please
  call, fax or email 
  the members of the school board asking them to vote against
  continuing with the 
  contract. Below are the names and contact information for the
  members of the 
  board. Also, their individual positions on the issue are stated.
  Please note that 
  608 is the area code for all phone and fax numbers. 
  President Juan Lopez: 249-9744,  jlopez@madison.k12.wi.us (voted for
  the contract) 
  V-President Deborah Lawson:  238-8186, dlawson@madison.k12.wi.us
  (voted for the contract) 
  Carol Carstensen: 255-5931, ccarstensen@madison.k12.wi.us  (voted
  for the contract) 
  Ruth Robarts: 238-2273,  rrobarts@madison.k12.wi.us (voted for the
  Ray Allen: 829-2772,  rallen@madison.k12.wi.us (voted against the
  Calvin Williams: 233-1400 , cjwilliams@madison.k12.wi.us (voted
  against the contract) 
  Mary Jan Rosenak: 241-3884,  mrosenak@madison.k12.wi.us (voted
  against the contract) 
    You can also get in touch with the board as a group through email
  by sending a 
  message to comments@madison.k12.wi.us or a fax to (608)266-6253.
   The Coca-Cola company  is by no means a good corporate citizen as
  by their continued high profile endorsement and support of the
  General Sanni Abacha 
  led illegal and morally repugnant military regime which is holding
  over 100 million 
  Nigerian citizens hostage. It is ironic that in Madison , WI,
  Coca-Cola is trying to portray 
  itself a s a supporter of children’s interests,  while halfway
  around the world they are 
  supporting a regime which has in one way or another contributed to
  the deaths of 
  millions of children. 
              Coca-Cola is the main corporate sponsor of sporting and
  cultural events 
  organized by the illegal Abacha-led military dictatorship.  Its red
  and white advertising 
  presence is used by the military as a propaganda tool to show that
  even the most well 
  known global company endorses military rule in Nigeria. Since
  November 17th, 1993 
  when the Abacha regime usurped the electoral mandates freely given
  by the Nigerian 
  people to their duly elected representatives, Coca-Cola’s Africa
  market share in Nigeria 
  has risen from 11% to over 20%  today. In the same period of time,
  Nigeria’s duly 
  elected President, Moshood Abiola has been detained without trial in
  confinement at an unknown location, numerous political opponents of
  the illegal regime 
  have been murdered in cold blood, including Nigeria’s first  lady,
  (Mrs.) Kudirat Abiola, 
  and the leading Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. 
   Thousands of others are in detention without trial, including
  human rights and democracy  activists. By supporting the illegal
  regime, Coke has 
  shown that their main interest is profit and not principle of any
              The FNM President, Tunde Okorodudu, stated that “...the
  school board should 
  take the moral high ground and stop selling our children to
  corporations.” He added that 
  “...Coca-Cola should also stop putting profit over principle and
  human rights.” Mukhtar 
  Dan’Iyan, the Movement’s Secretary-General stated that “Coke is
  using the same tactics 
  Pepsi used when confronted with grassroots pressure for its
  divestment from Burma... 
  instead of doing the right thing, they targeted the minds of young
  children.” Prince Ayo 
  Ajisebutu, the National Treasurer of the FNM stated when commenting
  about the issue 
  that “The board should not allow Coca-Cola to buy the children of
  one community while 
  supporting a regime which oppresses the children of another
       Long Live Freedom, Long live the Free Nigeria Movement, Long
  live the Free Nigeria 
  On behalf of the Free Nigeria Movement 
  Nasiru Ikharo 
  National Information Secretary, FNM 
  Ad Hoc Committee 
  to Defend Madison Schools 
  For Immediate Release                                          
  Contact:  Matt Nelson 286-9837 
                 Ben Manski 262-9036 
  Coke Deal Leaves Students, Teachers With Bitter Aftertaste 
  Teachers, students, and community members angry over the recently
  Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) CokeTM deal will appear
  at 6pm 
  tonight before the School Board at the Doyle Administration Building
  W. Dayton) to demand an immediate withdrawal of MMSD from the CokeTM 
  contract.  The recent revelation that the CokeTM  contract had been
  unaltered in the face of four months of public protest has led many 
  Madisonians to conclude that action is necessary at the meeting
  Said Judy Gump, a teacher at Madison Memorial High School, "I am 
  disappointed that the District didn't use this delay to reassess
  whether we 
  really wanted this contract, especially with the outpouring of
  opinion after the initial vote.  This would have been a great
  to democratize the process - I feel as if the students, the staff,
  and the 
  public has been cheated out of their right to participate for a
  Over 600 people have signed a petition against the CokeTM deal. 
  The recently signed contract includes numerous provisions that
  widespread criticism, such as exclusive marketing rights for CokeTM 
  in the 
  Madison schools, below-minimum wage student internships with Coke
  promoting CokeTM products, an insulting CokeTM "teacher of the year
  and promotional IBMinc..  "multimedia education" CokeTM promotion
  These provisions were lambasted not only by students, teachers, and 
  community activists, but also be members of the School Board, who
  the public that they would be removed from the contract. 
  Said Geoff Goodman, a 1997 West High School graduate, "I hope that
  trend of privatization and corporate takeover is stopped before it
  our schools.  I'm going to do all I can to get the contract
  Coca Cola corporation is under a global boycott because of its
  support of the Abacha military dictatorship in Nigeria.  Many
  have pulled out of Nigeria due to the impossibility of doing
  business there 
  without financially supporting the crimes of the Abacha regime,
  include cultural genocide, intense political repression, ecological 
  devastation, and the murder of thousands of dissidents and other
  people.  The Free Nigeria Movements calls CokeTM , "the internal
  arm of the illegal Nigerian military junta," which still holds the 
  democratically elected President of Nigeria, Mushood Abiola, under
  "Juan Jose Lopez has made clear which side he stands on.  He stands
  the corporations.  He stands against students and teachers, and
  against the 
  community.  It's time for him to resign and admit that he has failed
  people of Madison," said Ben Manski, local democracy activist. 
  # # # 
  - - - - - - 
  Benjamin Manski - 608-262-9036