Water, Privatization and Coca-Cola: Resistance in India

Delegation to India
December 18-31, 2005

The India Resource Center is leading an international delegation to India to strengthen the international campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable.

One of the most vibrant and successful international campaigns being waged today is the campaign by communities in India to hold Coca-Cola accountable for its crimes against humanity.

Literally thousands of community members, primarily from rural India, are engaged in grassroots campaigns across the country against the Coca-Cola company. The community-led struggles in India have gained in strength and intensity significantly, and the campaign has become one of the key campaigns globally that advocates for community rights over natural resources, and highlights the destruction wreaked by corporate-led globalization.

The delegation will visit communities affected by Coca-Cola’s abuses across India and learn about the issues in depth. The delegation will also meet with community organizations and leaders, as well as allied organizations to discuss concrete ways to support the local campaigns to hold the Coca-Cola company accountable and other initiatives against water privatization.

A pattern has emerged as a result of Coca-Cola’s bottling operations in India:
  • Communities living near its bottling plants are experiencing severe water shortages
  • Groundwater and land around Coca-Cola’s bottling plants have been polluted
  • Coca-Cola has distributed its toxic waste as fertilizer to farmers around its plants
  • Coca-Cola products in India contain extremely high levels of pesticides, including DDT.

Coca-Cola continues to deny its crimes in India and uses its public relations machinery to try to spin the problems away. But communities in India have escalated their organizing to hold Coca-Cola accountable, and new campaigns are starting across India to challenge the company’s practices. One of Coca-Cola’s largest bottling plants in India has been shut down because of community pressure. Now the courts and even state governments are joining in the campaign to put an end to Coca-Cola’s abuses.

Who should participate?
The campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable for its crimes in India has many dimensions- human rights, environmental justice, development, governance, water rights, corporate globalization, food security, public health, women’s rights, Indigenous People’s rights and international solidarity, to name a few.

All participants should ideally be committed to working on the campaign after returning to their respective countries.

To join the delegation, send a brief letter stating your name and contact details to info@IndiaResource.org by November 7, 2005. Please tell us something about yourself- what you do, what interests you in the campaign, what you plan to get out of the delegation.

You must confirm your participation in the delegation by November 14, 2005.

The delegation will be in India from December 18-31, 2005. Participants should be in New Delhi on the morning of December 18, 2005. December is the HIGH season in India for travel and participants should book their tickets to India as soon as possible. Let us know if you need more information on purchasing air tickets to India.

Cost: US$1700 (not including international airfare)

Cost Includes:
Food and lodging in India, all transportation within India (including air), tour leader, orientation, translators and area-specific guides, all program activities, preparatory reading materials Not included in the cost is: international airfare, donations, tips and personal expenses.

Please note that the delegation is a non-profit initiative, as are all our activities.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.IndiaResource.org

The India Resource Center works directly with community groups in India to provide an international platform for the campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable. The India Resource Center is central to the student and community initiatives in the US, UK and internationally. We work primarily in Coca-Cola’s largest markets to apply pressure on the Coca-Cola company to meet the demands of the communities in India.

FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. India Resource Center is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.




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India Resource Center (IRC) is a project of Global Resistance -- "Building Global Links for Justice"
URL: http://www.IndiaResource.org Email:IndiaResource (AT) igc.org