Atlanta (USA), 26th April 2017. The AGM took place at World of Coca-Cola. The dominating topics were profits and dividends. Critical questions about the cost of Coca Cola's profits are not welcome on principle. Environmental destruction and violations of human rights are consistently denied. Critics are completely excluded from the ASM, which is what the activists Sibylle Arians and Anabel Schnura had to experience.
To begin with, Coca Cola severely limited access to the meeting. The meeting took place in its own venue on its own premises, far from public streets and places. This, however, was not the worst of it: only selected shareowners were allowed to participate, especially major shareowners. Smallholders were systematically excluded, and this also applied to the ethecon activists. They had specifically bought shares for the presentation of the negative award. This gave them the right to vote and access to the ASM. In theory.
Coca Cola refused the activists access to the meeting, but the members of the foundation were not to be intimidated by that. Schnura explains: “We traveled to Atlanta regardless to make our protest public.” But the security officers did not even allow a symbolic presentation in front of the venue. The security guards and police officers expelled them from the corporate premises, with threat of imprisonment.
Arians and Schnura continued their protest on the street. „Coca Cola poses a serious threat to our blue planet“, Arians warns. With banners and flyers, they informed the passers-by and the stockholders about the company‘s crimes against the environment and human rights, in spite of Coca Cola‘s repressive actions. The Black Planet Award will be presented to the company at the next best opportunity.