Why this immigrant rights march is brought to you by Miller


Oscar Avila/Chicago Tribune/September 1 2006

...as demonstrators march from Chinatown to House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) Batavia office this weekend, 'they will have Miller Brewing Co., as a sponsor. The brewer has paid more than $30,000 for a planning convention, materials and newspaper ads publicizing the event.

...Now, 'march advertisements feature not just the organizing committee's trademark blue globe but Miller's logo and a Spanish translation of its "Live Responsibly" slogan, a company effort to build goodwill among Latinos.

..."We would love to have 20 corporate logos. It doesn't mean we are selling the movement out," said Jorge Mujica, a member of the March 10 Committee. "The principles and demands remain the same. They are helping out this movement and we are happy with that."

...the presence of Miller at a welcoming reception the day before the Aug. 12-13 planning convention raised eyebrows.

The convention brought together labor unions, anti-war groups, immigrant service organizations and even socialist political candidates.

Hours before bashing NAFTA and U.S. foreign policy, participants at the Aug. 11 reception mingled with the 'Miller Girls, the company's public relations ambassadors, amid a display of Miller logos.

...At the request of march organizers, media executive Robert Armband and chief executive of [[La Raza (Chicago newpaper)]] sent e-mails to thousands of business contacts, asking if they would consider helping the March 10 Committee.

...(March organizer) Gabe Gonzalez said he represents those in the movement--maybe half the total, he thinks -- who 'don't even consider themselves capitalists. Many have been involved with labor campaigns targeting specific companies.

(Gabe Gonzalez says:) "That's the nature of politics. You form coalitions based on mutual self-interest... So will we work with corporations? We will work with anyone who will work with us."

Reports also:Four "major" unions are bringing 600 protesters on buses.Miller is buying ads in the Voces Migrantes community newspaper.