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Minnesota Coke boycott campaign kicked off!

By Meredith Aby-Keirstead |
April 20, 2015
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Activists in Minneapolis start a campaign to boycott Coke.
Dave Bicking (center), owner of building that is home to peace and justice organizations presented with plaque recognizing his is the first building in Minnesota to be a part of the national campaign to boycott Coca-Cola. (Fight Back! News/Meredith Aby-Keirstead)
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The Anti-War Committee’s next Palestine protest will commemorate Al-Nakba on Friday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m. outside the office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar at 1200 Washington Avenue S in Minneapolis to protest U.S. military aid to Israel.

Minneapolis, MN - 30 people gathered here for an April 19 forum announcing the first Coke Free Zone in Minneapolis. Last fall, the campaign to #BoycottCoke was launched by the U.S. Palestinian Communities Network (USPCN), targeting Coca-Cola for its operations in illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and its support for the Zionist regime.

Forum speakers addressed the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, because of its violations of international law and attacks on Palestinian rights. BDS is now a worldwide movement against Israeli apartheid and the governments, corporations and other institutions that support it.

The Minnesota Anti-War Committee took up the USPCN call to #BoycottCoke and won the support of all the peace and justice groups housed at 4200 Cedar Avenue, including the Women Against Military Madness, Midwest Jewish Voices for Peace, Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee, the Welfare Rights Committee, Minnesota State Green Party, and Communities United Against Police Brutality. The Minnesota chapter of USPCN presented a plaque to building owner, Dave Bicking, to recognize that the building is the first in the state of Minnesota to be a part of the national campaign to boycott Coca-Cola.

Sophia Hanson-Day, a member of the Anti-War Committee, explained why people should refuse to drink and buy Coke products, “Why target a multi-billion dollar corporation with global reach instead of a smaller, more moveable target? We see targeting Coke as a way to start conversations about Israeli apartheid, the global BDS movement and supporting the Palestinian resistance just about anywhere. Beyond the specifics of Coke’s criminal profit-making from the oppression of the Palestinian people, Coke holds a pervasive presence in our schools, community centers, places of worship, grocery stores, etc. Coke products and its subsidiaries such as Minute Maid, Dasani, Honest Tea (to name a few) are quite literally everywhere. As a long-term campaign, boycotting Coke is a tool to shift the narrative supported by U.S. politicians that ignores Israeli atrocities and apartheid. This narrative demonizes Palestinians and holds up Israel as a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. This Coke boycott will give us ammunition to combat these poisonous ideas through conversations with our families, neighbors, colleagues and fellow community members.”