Bulletin N° 636
Subject: ON METAPHOR AND REALITY AND THE QUESTION OF MENTAL HEALTH IN THE LATE CAPITALIST SYSTEM.
29 November 2014
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
If history suggests that psychoanalysis is largely an ideological construct with occasional physiological side benefits, then we are encouraged to take Freud’s advice and look for the physiological reasons of nervous disorders --disorders such as wars and militarism, labor exploitation and slave-master relations, and pathologies like nationalism, racism, ageism, and sexism, as well as sado-masochism and similar symptoms of repressed chatracter stucture. Such an investigation, to be fruitful, would require a significant amount of original analytical thought focusing largely on personal experience; plus a wide synthesis of contextual information based on collective discussions, comparing and contrasting social class relationships.
For the moment, such an education seems highly unlikely.
If we follow the early self-criticism of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)--whose admonition to his first disciples was that they not mistake ‘the scaffolding’ for ‘the artifice’—we are prompted to acknowledge that today we have arrived at the point where we can go beyond such concepts as the ‘Oedipus complex’, ‘eros’, ‘thanatos’, and ‘sexual sublimation’; to reach out from the realm of metaphor into the domain of physical science. Likewise, we can only benefit by exceeding the limits of Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936), and venture beyond his classic typology which he borrowed from the ancient Greek physician of Roman times, Galen of Pergamon (129 - 216(?) A.D.). The latter's four categories of character –melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic, and sanguine—inspired the great Russian academic to invent his famous three types of nervous system (TNS), which he based on configurations of three nervous system properties --strength, motility, and balance-- related to the two universal nervous processes: excitation and inhibition.
In ancient Roman times, Galen produced a model which is still employed in modern times: the melancholic personality representing introverts who are emotionally sensitive, perfectionists, and highly intellectualizing; the choleric person, being a proud extrovert, displaying the need to be in control of situations, to excel, often an over-achiever; the third personality type, the phlegmatic person, is a submissive introvert, not easily excited to action or to a display of emotion, but instead apathetic, sluggish, desiring to be left alone by giving others what they seem to want; and the fourth, is the sanguine personality, bubbly, chatty, a social extrovert openly emotional.
Pavlov’s life-long research was initially based on the theory of conditioned reflex and was further developed in the last years of his life to compare human and non-human responses to stimuli. In 1932, he introduced his famous theory of the higher nervous system, and the concepts of the ‘first-signal system’ and the ‘second signal system’. According to this theory, reality is signaled in all animals by stimuli which are perceived directly by sensory receptor cells. These stimuli are processed in the brain. This is what all animals internalize to form impressions, sensations, and ideas from the surrounding environment. It is called the first-signal system of reality.
Human beings, according to this 1932 theory, have an additional system based on verbal signals: words, the system of speech, (pronounceable, audible and visible) have formed the second-signal system of reality, which serves as the signal for the first signals. In humans the two systems closely interact. The animal brain reacts only to direct visual, acoustic, and other stimuli or their traces which result in sensations that constitute the first signaling system. Humans, however, possess an additional signaling system which enables them to generalize with words the countless signals they encounter. The analysis and synthesis performed by the cerebral cortex, when the second signaling system is present, relate not only to specific stimuli in the environment, but also to the words produced by these stimuli. This capacity is specific to human beings and permits a generalized reflection of phenomena and objects and has provided humans with the ability to orient themselves to a wide diversity of environments and has enabled them to develop scientific thinking.
The nature of the interaction of the two systems, which are simultaneously active in the higher nervous system of humans, is said to vary according to the individual’s education (the social factor) and according to the characteristics of his nervous system (the biological factor). ‘Intellectual types’ are often found to have a relatively weak first-signal system, registering few sensations from direct contact with their environment, while the signals of the first-signal system in ‘artistic types’ are experienced clearly and strongly. The co-ordination of the two signaling systems at an early age is, of course, the hallmark of a successful education. When a system of conditioned associations, worked out during childhood, facilitates the process of generalization by use of words, then verbal signals produce changes in excitability; stronger, more frequent neural synapses, with longer electrical discharges in the nerve cells in certain regions of the cerebral cortex occur. The second-signaling system thus develops as a result of activity along the entire cerebral cortex, and not to the function of any individual region of the brain. (Source: see Pavlov’s Theory of the Higher Nervous System. And for additional discussions of the function of the human brain, see our past CEIMSA bulletins featuring the contemporary work of neurologist Antonio Damasio.)
Some elements for a radical problematic.
Pavlov’s contribution of our understanding of psychology is in distinct contrast to the dominant Western concept of psychology: for the Russian (and later the Chinese) school, consciousness stands as the supreme force governing human behavior, unchallenged by competing forces such as the unconscious and the preconscious. Thus, ‘correct’ consciousness leads to ‘correct’ behavior, and the goals to which ‘correct’ consciousness leads are socially defined objectives.
Introducing the Human Organism: & Introducing an infinite reservoir
of ‘Received’ Ideas:
<![if !vml]><![endif]> <![if !vml]><![endif]>
Introducing the Organ most responsible for & Introducing Capitalist measurements of the
producing both ‘analytical’ and ‘synthetic’ ‘Success’ and ‘Failure’ of mental
<![if !vml]><![endif]> <![if !vml]><![endif]> <![if !vml]><![endif]>
The cerebral cortex is the outer layer depicted in
dark violet. It is the cerebrum's (brain) outer layer
of neural tissue in humans and other mammals.
It is divided into two cortices: the left and right &
cerebral hemispheres divided by the medial longitudinal
fissure. The cerebral cortex plays a key role in memory,
attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language,
and consciousness. The human cerebral cortex is 2 to 4 THE HOMELESS
millimetres (0.079 to 0.157 inches) thick. <![if !vml]><![endif]>
Introducing the notion of ‘Received Ideas’ & Introducing human understanding as human activity:
as dressing up an Organism with purchased
commodities and with nowhere to go:
<![if !vml]><![endif]> <![if !vml]><![endif]>
If early Pavlovian research is classified under the rubric of ‘neurology’ and ‘physiology,’ then Eastern psychologists can be said to have engaged in relatively little experimental work, compared to their Western counterparts. The outstanding difference between Soviet and ‘Sovietized Chinese’ psychology, on the one hand, and Western practice, on the other, was the ways in which relevant research topics were chosen for study and new directions of study were advanced.
The Soviet approach to selecting areas for investigation has not been one of laissez-faire but rather a careful canvassing for ideological and practical requirements. There is also a characteristic style of determining direction and achieving consensus in psychology trough meetings or ‘open discussions’ that signal major alternations in line and approach. Whether or not an area of empirical work is to be tackled depends upon arguments pro and con, on the basis of derivations from basic Marxist-Leninist theories. Problems are not always chosen from scientific requirements intrinsic to the field; that is, results of the testing of hypotheses, concepts, or theories. Rather, the basic conceptual framework is a set of assumptions not to be constantly challenged or replaced through empirical testing.
They have been succinctly summarized as follows: 1) the principle of materialist monism –that mental phenomena are a property of the brain, upon which the psychological activities are superimposed; 2) the principle of determinism –that there is constant interaction between processes of higher nervous activity and the external environment; 3) the principle of reflection –that consciousness is a subjective reflection of an objective reality; 4) the principle of unity of consciousness and activity –that man’s mind is formed in activity and manifested in activity; and 5) the principle of historicism –that mind develops in the process of the historical development of man.(pp.16-17, Chin, Psychological Research in Communist China, 1949-1966, MIT Press, 1969.)
At the time of the Cultural Revolution in China which began in the mid-1960s, the education of children turned toward teaching them to know not only what they learned but also for whom and why they learned. For this the emulation of heroes was deemed as a primary aid to rational learning.(Chin, p.212) The French phenomenologist Gason Bachelard (1884-1962) seems to have spoken to the same vital issue of pedagogy when he observed: “All memory has to be re-imagined. For we have in our memories micro-films that can only be read if they are lighted by the bright light of the imagination.” (p.175, The Poetics of Space, The classic look at how we experience intimate places, 1958 & 1964)
The 9 items below offer CEIMSA readers a look at contemporary realities and the opportunity to reflect on the conditions of their collective lives and the turbulent social context in which we are now living.
Item A., from The Real News Network, is a report by Eddie Conway on lessons from the Ferguson police killing of Michael Brown.
Item B., from Democracy Now!, is presentation by Rev. Al Sharpton on the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and its relevance to Ferguson, today where justice fails.
Item C., from NYU Professor Mark Crispin Miller, founder of News from the Underground, is an article by Steven Rosenfeld describing the contemporary state of racism in the USA.
Item D., from The Nation magazine, is an article by Chase Madar discussing the age-old problem of ‘policing the police’ following the murder of Michael Brown on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014.
Item E., from The Real News Network, is an interview with author Chase Mader on how police in the USA get away with murder.
Item F., from UCSD Professor emeritus Fred Lonidier, is a public call issued by The American Federation of Labor “to Stop Killer Coke.”
Item G., from, Information Clearing House, is an article by Pepe Escobar on the steady approach in Ukraine led by the US puppet NATO towards World War III.
Item H., from Information Clearing House, is an article by Medea Benjamin discussing Obama’s tactics in the Pentagon as they relate to his Grand Strategy in the Middle East, ‘war-and-more-war-for-profit.’
Item I., from The Real News Network, is an interview with Ukrainian sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko discussing the socioeconomic conditions of ordinary people in Ukraine and the prospects of civil war.
An finally, we invite CEIMSA readers to watch for their cultural edification John Sayles' electrifying 1987 film classic on social class warfare in post–WW I America :
Professor of American Studies
University of Grenoble-3
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
From The Real News Network :
Date : 26 November 2014
Subject: Lesson from Ferguson, Missouri.
Mr. Conway says police are asked by society to control the poor as if they are fighting a war, so anything goes.
We Dehumanize Those We Want to Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself
From Democracy Now! :
Date : 26 November 2014
Subject: The Anti-Racist Movement from Ferguson goes viral.
On Tuesday, the family of Michael Brown held a press conference at a church not far from Ferguson. Michael Brown Sr. was present but did not speak. He wore a red St. Louis baseball cap similar to the one his son had on when he was killed by Officer Darren Wilson, and a t-shirt that read, "No Justice, No Peace." The Brown family’s attorney Benjamin Crump and the Rev. Al Sharpton criticized St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s handling of the grand jury process. At the news conference, Amy Goodman asked Rev. Al Sharpton about whether authorities let parts of Ferguson burn on Monday night. She also asked about the three slain civil rights workers awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Monday, and whether that case offers hope for federal charges against Wilson.
Rev. Sharpton: Legacy of Civil Rights Movement Shows Need for Feds
to Bring Justice if State Fails
From Mark Crispin Miller :
Date : 28 November 2014
Subject: 8 horrible truths about police brutality in our "free world".
by Steven Rosenfeld
The hard truths about American racism exposed by Ferguson aren’t going away. That’s the case, even as the first African-American president, Barack Obama, responding to Monday’s renewed rioting, said, “Nothing of significance, nothing of benefit, results from destructive acts.” Racism is real, Obama said, and he urged Americans to “mobilize,” “organize,” find the “best policies,” and “vote.”
Yet on the ground in Ferguson, where the white policeman who shot an unarmed black man was exonerated by a local grand jury and went on national television and said he would do the same thing again, Obama’s words stung. There are specific and surprising reasons why the rage over Ferguson isn’t going away. In the St. Louis suburb and across America, blacks and other people of color still face embedded racism and second-class treatment. Political leaders have not brought change; they have failed to curb excessive policing and incarceration rates or create economic opportunities and hope people can believe in.
“The uprising in Ferguson was an inevitable reaction to the institutional racism coursing through the area for decades,” wrote HandsUpDontShoot.com, citing  the example of police padding municipal budgets by going overboard with issuing traffic tickets to the poor, followed by even more punitive arrest warrants if people have not paid their fines.
Here are eight terrible facts and trends about abusive policing and institutional racism laid bare by the Ferguson uprising.
1. Darren Wilson was trained to kill and did. It was shocking that a local grand jury did not indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown. But no one predicted Wilson would go on TV and say he did as he was trained, and tell the nation he would do it again. Wilson told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he has a “clear conscience” and that he would have done the same thing if he had faced a white assailant.
His lack of remorse is not just maddening, but points to a problem that is much bigger than Ferguson: how local police have become paramilitary machines with officers trained, equipped and expected to shoot if they lose control of a situation. Across America, one result is that victims of police killings disproportionately look like Michael Brown and not like Darren Wilson.
2. More black Americans are killed by cops. Police shoot and kill blacks almost twice as frequently as any other racial group, MotherJones.org reported , after examining piles of federal crime data. “Black people were about four times as likely to die in custody or while being arrested than whites.” MoJo said the majority of local police departments do not report police killing figures to the FBI. “It’s also not clear that Brown’s death—the circumstances of which remain in dispute—would show up in the FBI’s data in the first place.”
3. Police are armed and trained to kill. The militarization of local police has been growing ever since the Pentagon and U.S. Department of Justice decided to give away surplus weaponry from Iraq and Afghanistan. The heaviest weaponry is often used by SWAT teams during drug raids, where as the ACLU has noted , communities of color are targeted for nighttime raids. They face few consequences for making mistakes, such as maiming or killing people and pets and ransacking homes and personal property. These same teams were deployed in Ferguson to confront protesters after Brown’s killing in August, exacerbating violence instead of quelling it.
As an ACLU report  found, the rampant over-militarization is a national problem, not a few “bad apple” local departments. The ACLU called it a “war without public support,” filled with too many “unnecessary tragedies." Non-whites were primary targets of SWAT raids. Blacks were targeted  in 39 percent of raids, Latinos in 11 percent, whites in 20 percent. There is little transparency about tactics, nor accountability for mistakes.
4. Life in black America isn’t getting better.The Ferguson protests are not in a vacuum, but come against a backdrop of ongoing societal hardship, especially in black communities. Obama has said that the U.S. is making progress on race issues, yet it’s hard, if not impossible, to separate issues of race and class.
RawStory.com cited  a long list of disparities that factor into the simmering rage that boiled over in Ferguson and across the country. “The black-white disparity in infant mortality  has grown since 1950. Whereas 72.9 percent of whites are homeowners, only 43.5 percent of blacks are. Blacks constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million people incarcerated.  According to Pew, white median household wealth is $91,405; black median household wealth is $6,446—the gap  has tripled over the past 25 years. Since 2007, the black median income has declined  15.8 percent. In contrast, Hispanics’ median income declined 11.8 percent, Asians’ 7.7 percent and whites’ 6.3 percent.”
5. White America really doesn’t get it. These race and class divides are not widely seen as serious enough for action by white Americans. When it comes to Ferguson, whites are quicker to accept the storyline laid out by authorities. “Well-meaning whites have, on the whole, failed to appreciate the origins of racial-ethnic disparities in health, wealth, education, and incarceration—or to see them as a problem,” RawStory’s Ted Silverman wrote . “Many believe in justice, but feel perfectly comfortable when and where racial-ethnic inequality is the norm.”
6. The system defends itself, not the public. The Brown family, protesters and civil rights advocates all wanted the criminal justice system to take a fair look at what unfolded in August, but kept getting signs that was not likely to happen. In August, police leaked video footage showing Brown robbing a convenience store, which was intended to smear his character and suggest that somehow Brown deserved what happened in the subsequent confrontation with Wilson.
The grand jury proceeding was strange, legal experts noted . The prosecutor said he was being fair by bringing all the evidence to the 12 jurors. But that tactic has been interpreted as a deliberate move to overwhelm jurors and create doubts that would not lead to recommending Wilson be charged. It is curiously parallel to what unfolded in the Trayvon Martin murder case, in which experts said  Florida prosecutors didn’t really want to convict George Zimmerman.
7. Evidence suggests Wilson abused his license to kill. Besides Wilson’s interview on ABC-TV, his grand jury testimony has been released to the public. At the heart of his statements is the question of why he kept firing his gun at Brown. Wilson said he was threatened because it appeared that a stricken but enraged Brown was coming toward him. Others said it appeared that Brown turned around after trying to flee and was surrendering.
While that contradiction cannot be resolved, legal experts like the New Yorker’s Amy Davidson said  that Wilson’s testimony suggested he shot to kill, and not to defend himself. “What stands out is that once the second shot had been fired and Brown had started to run, he no longer represented a deadly threat to the officer or to anybody else. He was a large, bleeding, unarmed man running down the street in an attempt to get away. Wilson, who chased after Brown, was the one with the deadly weapon.”
8. If Wilson was scared, the law takes his side.That’s the bottom line in Missouri law and jury instructions, which strongly defer to the use of deadly force by on-duty police officers. Brown’s attorneys had been hoping for a second-degree murder charge, when a person knowingly causes the death of another. But grand jury instructions in Missouri, which are read to the panel before it decides whether to press charges, allow police to use deadly force if the officer believes it is “immediately necessary .” That formulation almost always protects the police from prosecution for using deadly force because they can say they felt theatened.
That’s the storyline Wilson told the grand jury and also told ABC-TV, and which underscores how the system is biased against admitting police errors even when people are unnecessarily killed. The story of Michael Brown and Darren Wilson is a prism reflecting many ugly truths about how American society operates and victimizes blacks and communities of color. That is why the nationwide protests will continue.
See more stories tagged with:
Source URL: http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/8-horrible-truths-about-police-brutality-and-racism-america-laid-bare-ferguson
From The Nation :
Date : 24 November 2014
Subject: Holding Police Accountable for their Crimes Against Humanity.
How to police the police is a question as old as civilization, now given special urgency by a St. Louis County grand jury’s return of a “no bill” of indictment for Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in his fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown. The result is shocking to many, depressingly predictable to more than a few.
Why It’s Impossible to Indict a Cop
It’s not just Ferguson—here’s how the system protects police
by Chase Madar
From The Real News Network :
Date : 28 November 2014
Subject: Interview with Chase Mader on Police Immunity.
As we've been saying on The Real News Network in relation to Ferguson and in general, the role of police is rather obvious: police are there to enforce the law. Well, what are those laws? Well, essentially those laws protect people that own stuff, and the more you own, the more protection to get. And if you don't happen to own any stuff and you're poor and you're desperate, you're likely to have to try to get stuff to live, and sometimes that means breaking those laws. So we ask police to enforce that, and that often means we want the police to be a hammer, because if you're living in desperate conditions and you're poor, you often act out desperately.
From Fred Lonidier :
Date : 24 November 2014
Subject: 1.6 Million-Member American Federation of Teachers Bans Coca-Cola.
<![if !vml]><![endif]><![if !vml]><![endif]>
Home About Contact Join Events Share
1.6 Million-Member American Federation of Teachers Bans Coca-Cola Products Citing Child Labor and Human Rights Record
Corporate Campaign, Inc. applauds the American Federation of Teachers (AFT, AFL-CIO) for its historic move to ban all Coca-Cola products from its facilities and events, based on Coke's human rights record. The Union calls on affiliates to "participate in campaigns to remove Coca-Cola products from their schools, colleges, hospitals and other places in which they work."
New York, NY (PRWEB) November 18, 2014
Corporate Campaign, Inc. and the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke announce that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT, AFL-CIO) has declared the banning of all Coca-Cola products from its facilities and events, as an official policy of the union. This policy is being communicated to AFT affiliates and members throughout the nation and is published on the union's website. The resolution states that the AFT will (Click here for full resolution):
"refrain from serving or selling Coca-Cola products at its offices...at any venue for its events, meetings conferences and conventions; and
'recommend to all its affiliates that they not serve or sell Coca-Cola products at their offices and...at venues for their events; and
'encourage them to participate in campaigns to remove Coca-Cola products from their schools, colleges, hospitals and other places in which they work..."
The new policy resulted from passage of a resolution introduced at AFT's 2014 National Convention by Barbara Bowen, AFT Executive Board Member and President of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY (PSC CUNY represents more than 25,000 faculty and staff at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY Research Foundation).
Young children in sugar cane field in El Salvador.
Photo Credit: Human Rights Watch
The resolution spotlights Coca-Cola's dismal human rights record and long-standing allegations of violence against union leaders in Colombia and Guatemala, documented by, among others, award-winning journalist, Michael Blanding, in The Coke Machine: The Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink  ; the continuing allegations of the use of child labor by its sugar processors, as reported by Human Rights Watch and by investigative reporter, Mark Thomas, in the nationally televised documentary Dispatches: Mark Thomas on Coca Cola ; as well as charges of outsourcing of thousands of jobs to what critics call "poverty-wage contractors."
"You can always count on the American Federation of Teachers to stand up for children, labor and human rights," commented Ray Rogers noted organizer, human rights advocate and director of Corporate Campaign, Inc. and Campaign to Stop Killer Coke.
"AFT's actions to hold The Coca-Cola Company accountable for what we see as its reprehensible practices worldwide, can only have a positive impact on society and the daily lives of countless endangered children and workers, who are now trapped in poverty and despair," Rogers said. "I hope and expect that the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) will take similar action to protect the well-being of children and advance human rights everywhere." Rogers continued, "The AFT's principled action is very significant and follows on the loss of scores of school contracts, and growing numbers of unions banning Coke products. This is a direct result of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and is costing the company dearly."
The stated mission of the AFT, whose president is Randi Weingarten, is: "The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do."
About Corporate Campaign Inc. (CCI):
New York City-based Corporate Campaign Inc. (CCI), founded in 1981, has successfully championed labor, human rights and environmental causes using its unique power analysis, innovative strategies and organizational tactics to increase economic and political pressure on companies, their top executives, board members, shareholders, creditors and political allies to hold them accountable and make them behave more responsibly. For more information call 718-852-2808 or email info(at)corporatecampaign(dot)org or go to http://www.corporatecampaign.org/history.php
About Ray Rogers:
Ray Rogers, a noted advocate for labor and human rights, is President and Director of Corporate Campaign, Inc. and founder of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke. Corporate Campaign was founded in 1981. Rogers pioneered the strategy of the Corporate Campaign that has been used with success by labor unions, human rights advocates and environmental groups in their battles against corporations.
Time magazine said, "Rogers has brought some of the most powerful corporations to their knees and his ideas are spreading." Boston Herald described Rogers as labor's most innovative strategist and "one of the most successful union organizers since the CIO sit-down strikes of the 1930s." Business Week described Rogers as a "legendary union activist." Financial Times called Rogers "The Coca-Cola Company's fiercest foe.
For interviews or speaking engagements call Pat Clark at 718-852-2808 or email info(at)corporatecampaign(dot)org http://corporatecampaign.org/ray_rogers_bio.php
About Campaign to Stop Killer Coke:
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke launched in 2003, is a worldwide movement with thousands of volunteers seeking to hold The Coca-Cola System, including the company and its bottlers, accountable for harmful practices that dangerously impact on the lives of workers, the environment and the health and well-being of children worldwide. For more information call 718 852-2808 or go to http://www.killercoke.org.
 Blanding, M. (2010). The Coke Machine: The Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink. New York, NY: Penguin Group
 Garcia, C. & Gutierrez, G. "The Coca-Cola Case" award-winning documentary produced by the National Film Board of Canada
 Human Rights Watch. (June 2004). El Salvador: Child Labor on Sugar Plantations
 Thomas, Mark (Nov 2007) Dispatches: Mark Thomas on Coca Cola Channel 4 Television Corporation (UK)
 Thomas, M. (2009). Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola. New York, NY: Nation Books
STOP COCA-COLA's ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
WHEREAS, many labor organizations, including the New York State United Teachers, have agreed not to serve or sell Coca-Cola products because of Coca-Cola's complicity in violence against its workers, especially in Latin America; and
WHEREAS, Coca-Cola circumvents its own code of conduct by hiring workers through subcontracting rather than hiring permanent employees; and
WHEREAS, between 1990 and 2012, nine union leaders of the National Union of Food Industry Workers (SINALTRAINAL), the union representing Coca-Cola bottling plant workers in Colombia, and their family members have been murdered; and
WHEREAS, SINALTRAINAL President Javier Correa, and Vice President Juan Carlos Galvis, have escaped assassination attempts, and they, along with local SINALTRAINAL President William Mendoza, continue to face constant death threats; and
WHEREAS, despite El Salvador's minimum working age of 18 for dangerous occupations, children as young as 8 in El Salvador wield machetes to harvest sugar cane for Coca-Cola's sugar processor; and
WHEREAS, three general secretaries of the union representing Coca-Cola workers in Guatemala City and five workers were killed, and four more workers were kidnapped; and
WHEREAS, Guatemalan trade unionist Jose Armando Palacios survived an assassination attempt and has been granted asylum in the United States after Mr. Palacios' counsel presented, at the negotiation process for his asylum, a letter from Coca-Cola acknowledging that if he were to return to Guatemala the safety of Mr. Palacios and his family would be threatened; and
WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers cites, "AFT has a proud history of involvement in the worldwide trade union movement ... [and] has lent support and solidarity to unions all over the globe, from those fighting apartheid in South Africa to those struggling against Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile, to those emerging from the ruins of the former Soviet Union":
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers refrain from serving or selling Coca-Cola products at its offices and to the extent possible, at any venue for its events, meetings, conferences and conventions; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT recommend to all its affiliates that they not serve or sell Coca-Cola products at their offices and to the extent possible, at venues for their events; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT share this information with affiliates and encourage them to participate in campaigns to remove Coca-Cola products from their schools, colleges, hospitals and other places in which they work; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT call on Coca-Cola to cease circumventing its own code of conduct by hiring workers through subcontracting rather than hiring permanent employees; and
RESOLVED, that the AFT communicate this resolution to Coca-Cola.
 Thomas, M. (2009). Belching Out the Devil: Global Adventures with Coca-Cola. New York, NY: Nation Books.
 Blanding, M. (2011). The Coke Machine: The Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
 Human Rights Watch. (June 2004). http://www.hrw.org/news/2004/06/09/el-salvador-child-labor-sugar-plantations (link is external).
 Gatehouse, M. and Reyes, A. (1987). Soft Drink, Hard Labour: Guatemalan Workers Take on Coca-Cola. London, UK: Latin America Bureau.
 USLEAP. (March 2010). http://www.usleap.org/files/PalaciosUSLEAPSupportFeb2011.pdf (link is external).
"If we lose this fight against Coke,
First we will lose our union,
Next we will lose our jobs,
And then we will all lose our lives!"
--Sinaltrainal Vice-President Juan Carlos Galvis--
Change email address / Leave mailing
Powered by YMLP
From Information Clearing House :
Date : 23 November 2014
Subject: The New Cold War and More….
So the logic of escalation is on. The economically devastated EU is a joke; the only thing that counts for the US is NATO.
Washington Plays Russian Roulette
by Pepe Escobar
From Information Clearing House :
Date : 25 November 2014
Subject: The New Cold War and More….
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, and dragging our nation into another round of military involvement in Iraq, as well as Syria. The ISIL crises has also been used as a justification for not cutting the Pentagon budget, as required by sequestration.
The issue facing this nation is not who replaces Hagel, but what policy decisions we want to Pentagon to implement.
Hagel's Departure Should Open Debate on Obama's Wars
by Medea Benjamin
From The Real News Network :
Date : 28 November 2014
Subject: Lesson from Ferguson, Missouri.
Sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko says another upheaval will come if the government does not address socioeconomic conditions of ordinary people.
Ukraine and the
Right a Year after Maiden