Fresh Stir Launched Against Coca-Cola Plant in Kerala
The Hindu
April 22, 2008

Palakkad: Rights groups on Tuesday launched a hunger strike demanding total shut down of soft drink giant Coca Cola's plant in this district of Kerala as one of the longest protests against a multinational company in an era of globalisation entered its seventh year.

The Anti-cola Samara Samithi, spearheading the stir alleging the plant at Plachimada exploited the scarce ground water resources of the area and caused pollution, launched a 48-hour relay hunger strike to mark the occasion.

Speaking to journalists at Plachimada, the Samiti leaders accused the LDF government of having broken the promise of completely shutting down the plant which was still functioning bringing out some non-cola products.

Started on April 2, 2002 with the backing of several environmental, anti-globalisation and tribal-rights groups, the anti-cola stir had its ups and downs over the years. The issue was often battled in the court with the soft drink giant succeeding in retaining its right to remain in the Left-dominated state despite being forced to suspend part of its production.

The anti-Coke stir in Kerala took a crucial turn about two years back when the CPI(M) LDF government banned production and distribution of cola but left untouched most of its other products. The ban, however, was lifted by the High Court soon after its enforcement. .

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