Corporate crime / ACTION
Change the rules
The unknown kills – the International Right to Know Coalition brings together activists from a number of US-based organizations to shed light on secret corporate activities in the global South. Based on the idea that crime requires concealment, it champions the public’s right to know about corporate activities. It is taking on such companies as Unocal in Burma, Newmont Mining in Peru and toy manufacturers in China who produce for companies like Toys R Us, Disney and McDonald’s. For the Coalition, the start of a challenge to corporate prerogatives is rigorous right-to-know legislation everywhere. www.irtk.org
Fight bribery – Transparency International is based in Berlin and monitors the use of bribery by corporations in order to get their way. TI lobbies for tighter laws and tougher penalties and publishes the annual Global Corruption Report. It draws on the energy and commitment of a network of activists and correspondents all over the world. www.transparency.org
The Network works with organizations all over the world to expose conditions of sweatshop labour and to defend the right of sweatshop workers to organize to improve their lot. They have a number of excellent publications. www.maquilasolidarity.org
Satirical Dow Chemical and Burson-Marsteller Sites – A web-activist set up the satirical website Dow-Chemical.com to publicize the ‘real reasons’ Dow could not take responsibility for the poisoned chemical site in Bhopal after it bought out Union Carbide the company which committed the original offence. He also set up a fake site www.BursonMarsteller.com to expose the activities of the shady public-relations firm. Both companies then sought to have the websites closed down and BursonMarsteller brought a suit against Paul Hardwin, a student at Hampshire College in the US. A number of other websites from India to Australia have sprung up in support of the original satire site and Hardin has posted his legal defence brief on the net. You can read all about it and a number of other initiatives of website activism on www.rtmark.com – which exists to ‘publicize corporate subversion of the democratic process’.
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