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Anti-187 Activists Unveil Plan to Boycott Nabisco, Disney

By Paul Feldman and Patrick McDonnell
Los Angeles Times

Activists who unsuccessfully fought California's Proposition 187 at the ballot box unveiled formal boycott plans Thursday against two U.S. corporate icons - the purveyors of Mickey Mouse and Oreos - in an effort to capitalize on the economic clout of Latino consumers and others opposed to the immigration initiative.

Boycott organizers, who are hoping to win support throughout the United States and Latin America, are targeting Walt Disney Co. and RJR Nabisco because of major donations by corporate officers to the re-election campaign of Gov. Pete Wilson and other pro-187 Republican candidates.

"We want to sensitize companies like Disneyland that make earnings from immigrants," said Fabian Nunez of La Alianza in Pomona, speaking to reporters outside the main entrance to the Anaheim tourist mecca. "These corporations need to be sensitive to the people that make them wealthy."

Carol Makovich, a spokeswoman for RJR Nabisco in New York, said the conglomerate did not take a position on Proposition 187, which denies education and non-emergency medical care to illegal immigrants. Boycott representatives have not contacted RJR Nabisco, said Makovich, who declined further comment. Disneyland spokesman John McClintock said the company also remained neutral on Proposition 187 and that its gubernatorial campaign contributions "were based entirely on business and tourism concerns as you would expect with the Disney Co."

Proposition 187 won by an almost 3-2 margin at the polls, where exit interviews showed Latinos made up only 8 percent of the voters although they account for 27 percent of the state's population. Latino activists Thursday termed boycotts an alternate method to demonstrate their growing clout.

"We don't have the electoral power that our numbers would suggest, but it's important to show the community that we do have economic power - the community does have a voice," said Evangeline Ordaz, a professor of Chicano Studies at California State University, Northridge. She was among those announcing the RJR Nabisco boycott at a separate news conference outside a Latino supermarket in a largely immigrant district of Los Angeles.