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Trick-or-Treaters Get the Message: Boycott Nestle

PRESS RELEASE
November 1, 2005
Contact: 212-561-1567

Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines

New York Trick-or-Treaters Get the Message: “Boycott Nestle”

New York- “Say ‘Boo!’ to Nestle!” was the message heard by the public in the New York and New Jersey area this weekend as members of the Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines (NISPOP) distributed more than 2,000 flyers calling for a boycott of Nestle. The Nestle products listed for boycott are 21 different candies, including Butterfinger, Raisinets and Baby Ruth, and other well-known products such as Poland Spring, Perrier and Tasters Choice. NISPOP members distributed flyers in Jersey City, New Jersey and at the large annual Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.

Diosdado "Ka Fort" Fortuna, President of United Filipino Workers Union, the workers union of Nestle Cabuyao, also the Chairperson of Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa ng Timog Katagalugan (PAMANTIK-KMU) was shot dead on September 22 in front of Sagara Factory in Canlubang, Laguna, Philippines. Fortuna, 51, served the militant labor movement for 28 years since 1977 as a labor leader of the multinational company Nestle workers' union. The Nestle workers have been waging a three-year strike for retirement benefits and a just salary.

”With the killing of Ka Fortuna and the killings of five other progressive leaders, just in the last week, including the murder of the Hacienda Luisita union president Ricardo Ramos, we can see that the Philippines is in a state of undeclared martial law,” said Linda Abad of DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association who joined NISPOP in distributing flyers in Jersey City on Sunday. NISPOP is demanding a full investigation into Diosdado Fortuna’s brutal murder and the full indemnification of his family in addition to holding the Armed Forces of the Philippines and President Arroyo accountable for the seemingly endless killing of progressive people.

“Flyering in the Filipino community is inspiring because I see that people are reading our flyer and they are concerned,” said NISPOP member Emmanuel Fuentebella.

A Port Authority Police Department officer demonstrated the limited nature of free speech in the US when he gave NISPOP member Arsenia Reilly a ticket for distributing flyers outside of the Jersey City PATH station.

“Multinational corporations can communicate all they want on PATH property by buying advertising billboards,” said NISPOP member Dan Wilson. “But when a grassroots organization like NISPOP wants to communicate information in the ways that it can afford, we do so at our own risk. The US media said nothing about Ka Fort’s murder, let alone about the complicity of Nestle, the Philippine government, or the US government. The police have joined with the media in blockading this information from US consumers and taxpayers.”

For more information on the current state of human rights in the Philippines, NISPOP invites the public to a forum with guest speakers from GABRIELA Philippines and Bangsamoro Women to be held on both November 11 at Judson Memorial Church and November 14 at Barnard College. For more information, contact NISPOP at nispop @ nispop.org or 212-561-1567#


Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines
PO Box 721340, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
212-561-1567 # nispop @ nispop.org # www.nispop.org

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