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Augusta protest to focus on members

The leader of efforts to force the Augusta National Golf Club to admit women said Tuesday she will take her protest next to companies whose top executives belong to the club.

Martha Burk, head of the National Council of Women's Organizations, said her group plans to request meetings with the top officers of several corporations - among them IBM, General Electric, AT&T, Ford and Microsoft - who hold memberships at the golf club, home to the prestigious Masters tournament.

She said her group also is considering appealing to pension fund administrators and other investors to sell stock in companies whose executives belong to the golf club.

"These companies claim to value women's labor and to be in favor of diversity and against discrimination," Burk said. "They certainly seek women's consumer dollars and stockholder investments. Yet their leaders belong to, and support, a club that excludes the same women."

Burk said she was pleased with Saturday's demonstration, even though it drew far fewer people than originally planned and was held in a weedy field a half mile away rather than in front of the golf club's gates.

"We did exactly what we said we would do," she said. "We made our statement and we made it well."


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