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I support Students' Solidarity and the larger collective, Forum Against Corporatisation, in their fight to reclaim their campus space from big corporations like Nestle and to hand it over to more deserving local entrepreneurs.
Previously local entrepreneurs and those from the socially deprived sections of the society were given preferential access to campus space, but increasingly small businesses are being driven out, and larger corporations welcomed in. Nestle is only one particularly bad example: the company has violated workers' rights and supported the violent suppression of workers' unions in countries like Colombia, Philippines and Thailand; acquired cocoa for its chocolates from plantations in Ivory Coast and Indonesia where the work force is made up of children, who are treated like slaves; and marketed infant formula to poor nations for years at the cost of thousands of infant lives.
I also urge you to read this report from 2002, which does reveal a lot more about Nestle and their hunger for profits - no matter what!:
" Nestle Corporation, which last year earned 5.5 billion dollars in profits is demanding 6 million dollars from Ethiopia, a country facing famine. That over 14 million people are in danger of dying of starvation in a country so poor (an average income of less than $2 per day) that it can't afford to buy enough food on the overabundant world market doesn't seem to bother the world's largest food corporation. Hey, business is business! "
Here is something more potent - and something that should open up the eyes of the powers-that-be in JNU.
" Practices like sending sales reps into hospitals dressed as nurses to promote products to mothers were common place. The pitch was that Nestle's formula was better than breast milk - in fact, any mother that "really" cared about her baby would use Nestle breast-milk substitute. Mothers were often given a free supply of baby formula that lasted just long enough to dry out their own breast milk. These mothers, lacking sanitized water, and with their breast milk now dried up, mixed the formula with the only water they had. The results were predictable. According to the World Health Organisation a child bottle fed using unsafe water is up to 25 times more likely to die as a result of diarrhea than a breast fed child. 1.5 million children die in this manner each year. "
I am deeply concerned about the increasing corporatisation of JNU, from academic research to the contracting out of basic services, as we do not believe this serves the interests of the students, the local community, or society at large. It only serves the interest of large corporations.
I support the demands of Students' Solidarity and the larger collective, Forum Against Corporatisation, and believe that the Campus Development Committee should scrap the contract with Nestle immediately.
I hope reason would prevail over greed for profits.
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