THE BOYCOTT WAR FAQ
What is the goal of the boycott?
Many boycott campaigns have a very specific and immediate
goal (i.e. to get a certain company or country to abandon a certain policy).
The goal of the Boycott War Campaign is multi-fold. They are 1) To help
spread awareness about how involved certain companies are with the war industry
and war-mongering politicians; 2) To help mobilize people and organizations
into a positive economic force for long-term social change; and 3) To make
it less profitable and less popular for companies to get involved with the
Have such boycotts had any effect?
Yes. A survey from the Seattle based Global Market Insite
(GMI) Inc. questioning 8,000 consumers in eight countries between December
10 12, 2004. The survey finds that the Bush administration`s foreign
policies may be costing U.S. corporations business overseas as twenty percent
of respondents in Europe and Canada said they consciously avoided buying
U.S. products as a protest against the White House policies. That finding
was consistent with similar polls conducted out by GMI three weeks after
Bush`s November election victory and another survey by UK-based NOP World
in July 2004. [Source: Boycott Bush network newsupdate 3 Feb. 2005 www.motherearth.org]
Who is engaged in the boycott movement?
It is believed that millions of people across the world
are boycotting US brands since the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Ms.
Waratah Rosemarie Gillespie, the Pacific coordinator for the Boycott Bush
campaign, states that social movements from over 50 countries have now joined
the boycott campaign network. From Vermont to Finland to Japan there are
vibrant boycott campaings being waged. From members of the European Parliament
to US church groups to Arundathi Roy, people of all walks of life have endorsed
the boycotting of the US and companies profitting from war.
What's the difference between Boycott Bush and Boycott
The difference is minimal. Both are designed to oppose
militarism and the companies, countries, and politicians that finance and
support militarism. That commonality is also the ultimate focus for both
campaigns. Probably the only real distinction between them is that Boycott
Bush campaigns necessarily become out-dated when Bush is no longer in office
while Boycott War campaigns can continue as long as militarism continues.
Whether or not the Boycott Bush campaigns change name and continue after
Bush leaves office or not remains to be seen.
Don't boycotts hurt the wrong people (i.e. the workers)?
Quite the contrary. If a boycott movement shifts consumer
habits toward Fair Trade and other alternatives then workers (albeit different
workers than those in the targeted country or company) are actually benefitting.
Furthermore, workers in the targeted companies can take action as well and
protest the fact that their labor is being used to hurt other workers in
other countries through militarism. Even if a boycott were to hurt some
workers over others, its damage could hardly be compared to the anti-working
class devastation that is wrought by war.
Why do anti-war boycotts often target the USA and Israel?
Precisely because they are two of the most militarized
countries in the world and both of them are using that military leverage
to exert their political will on militarily weaker groups with bloody and
disastrous consequences. This entails both the brutal disregard for civilian
lives as well as global security and stability in general.
And as if that wasn't enough: The combined military might
of China, North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Vietnam is far
less than that of the United States and it is the United States -not any
of those countries- who has engaged in recent military operations across
the world (Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Serbia, Albania, Panama, Libya,
Yemen, Grenada, and Iraq) not to even mention the millions of civilians
killed by the US military operations in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam less
than 40 years ago. Israel holds the outstanding position of having broken
more UN Security Council resolutions than any other country (even to the
point of obtaining nuclear weapons and jailing the man who leaked the information
about it). The UN General Assebmbly routinely condemns Israel's human rights
abuses and treatment of Palestinians. The US, on the other hand, ranks number
one in UN Security Council vetoes - applying far more vetoes since 1970
than the rest of the "big five" combined (China, France, Russia,
and the UK).
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