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‘Anything But Coke’ College Campaign Pushes for LGBT Rights in Russia: VIDEO

Anything but coke

A new protest campaign aimed at highlighting Russia’s anti-gay crackdown and Coca-Cola’s refusal to denounce these human rights abuses has begun on college campuses across the nation.

Carnegie Mellon University's The Tartan reports:

John Moriarty, a sophomore directing major, along with Jeff Kasinoff, a junior at Wesleyan University, co-founded Anything But Coke, a campaign to boycott Coca-Cola products to convince Coca-Cola to pull its sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics.

“Anything But Coke is an online campaign that I started because of the atrocities happening to gay citizens in Russia,” Moriarty said. “Hate groups across the country have spiraled out of control. [...]

ProtestLast Sunday, Moriarty and about twenty others poured out Coca-Cola products — none of which they bought — at the intersection of Morewood and Forbes Avenues. Similar protests are slated in the coming weeks at other universities and high schools across the country. The next protest takes place next week [this Sunday] at Wesleyan University. After that, protests will take place at schools such as Boston University and St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt.

A dozen other schools have set in motion protests as well. 

Moriarty acknowledged that while Coca-Cola is not the true villain in the room, the company does have the power to make a real impact on the situation in Russia. “We cannot support corporations who put profit before human rights. No matter who is suffering,” he wrote in an email to The Tartan.

Watch a PSA for the campaign, AFTER THE JUMP...

Earlier this week, we reported on a similiar initiative taking place at Ireland's Trinity College, with the school's student union pledging to ban Coke products during the upcoming Sochi Games.

[photos via Facebook]



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  1. Wake up call Coke. This is the next generation telling you loudly & clearly to embrace your corporate responsibility to actually stand in support of human rights worldwide not just as a marketing tool or when it suits your bottom line.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Jan 31, 2014 2:34:24 PM

  2. British Columbia uses beet juice to help melt icy roads...perhaps the US could use Coke.
    On second thought, Coke would probably eat out our vehicles faster than salt would.

    Posted by: sword | Jan 31, 2014 2:59:04 PM

  3. Not only Coke is bad for your health but it's also bad for the health of Russian LGBT people!

    Posted by: litper | Jan 31, 2014 2:59:04 PM

  4. Coke (and pretty much all soft drinks) are totally bad for the body, too much sugar, too many chemicals, too much caffeine.

    It's just a bad company, bad product, bad message... ugh...

    Posted by: johnny | Jan 31, 2014 3:32:20 PM

  5. If I drink soda it's of the Italian kind which uses natural sugar. But water is really the best to keep us hydrated and healthy!

    Posted by: SpaceCadet | Jan 31, 2014 3:35:52 PM

  6. A dump Coke campaign should begin.

    Posted by: Mark | Jan 31, 2014 3:42:59 PM

  7. I gave up all soft drinks a couple years ago and Coke knows many are doing the same that is why they buy up other beverage companies such as Minute Maid, the popular coconut water Zico, and iced tea Fuze. Giving up coke products is easier said than done. Here's a list of some of their products you may be surprised they own (Dannon!):

    Posted by: Craig | Jan 31, 2014 3:50:13 PM

  8. I hope all you anti Coke folks know that if it wasn't for THE SPONSORS, there would be no AMERICAN OLYMPICS TEAM. Who do you think pays for all of our teams costs and support? It is the Sponsors. The government does not put in a nickel. So all of the athletes, coaches, etc. who have spent their lives just for this, who have done it for nothing. I don't work for coke, and am gay. These athletes, gay, straight, bi, whatever deserve their dreams. Let it go.

    Posted by: Richard | Jan 31, 2014 4:05:31 PM

  9. This is hardly unprecedented for Coke; it's long been the definition of a company that puts profits first, morals and patriotism second. If you think their commitment to the Russian market and maintaining their presence there is something bad, THIS is how they handled the Third Reich [from Wikipedia]:

    "Fanta originated as a result of difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II due to a trade embargo. To circumvent this, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland (Coca-Cola GmbH) during the Second World War, decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including whey and pomace – the "leftovers of leftovers", as Keith later recalled. The name was the result of a brief brainstorming session, which started with Keith exhorting his team to "use their imagination" ("Fantasie" in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, immediately retorted "Fanta!"

    "While the plant was effectively cut off from Coca Cola headquarters during the war, plant management did not join the Nazi Party. After the war, the Coca Cola corporation regained control of the plant, formula and the trademarks to the new Fanta product — as well as the plant profits made during the war."

    Posted by: MFinBH | Jan 31, 2014 4:52:54 PM

  10. Pepsi please.

    Posted by: Paul T | Jan 31, 2014 5:31:39 PM

  11. @Craig juice is almost as bad as soft drinks, buy fruits and eat them!

    Posted by: litper | Jan 31, 2014 5:45:05 PM

  12. @Craig juice is almost as bad as soft drinks, buy fruits and eat them!

    Posted by: litper | Jan 31, 2014 5:45:05 PM


    Posted by: Charles WmWell | Feb 1, 2014 12:30:37 AM

  14. Why are people surprised that a for-profit, public, multi-national company puts profit first? And, the notion that a multi-national corporation should be patriotic is laughable because doing that usually undermines sales outside of the country of origin. (Imagine the nonsense Fox News would say if a company based in Europe started ads implying that their country is better than the US.)

    Boycotts only work when they directly affect the person/organization who has the power to change the perceived problem. Coca-Cola doesn't make laws. Coca-Cola doesn't select the host nation for the Olympics.

    Posted by: alex | Feb 1, 2014 1:28:48 AM

  15. Coke is used to clean blood stains.

    Posted by: Garst | Feb 1, 2014 12:56:23 PM

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