Global BDS Movement – Why boycott?

 

 

 

http://www.bdsmovement.net/?q=node/123

Aims:

While boycott campaigns are often evaluated in terms of their economic impact, their success is also determined by their capacity to change opinion and political positions. A campaign should be evaluated by:

• Economic impact
• Greater exposure of the issue in the media
• Shifts generated in popular discourse over understandings and dynamics of the Palestinian struggle
• Psychological impact upon the offender that their behaviour is not acceptable


Why:

The term “boycott” originates from the story of Captain Charles Boycott, an Englishman who served as the agent for an absentee landlord in Ireland during the 19th century. In 1880, the tenants, encouraged by the Irish Land League, organized a campaign to isolate him. Subsequently, his name became immortalized in the word to boycott.

A multitude of boycott initiatives have since emerged in grassroots, civil activism and in struggles for social and political objectives. The power to use the tool of boycott is in the hands of everyone and can be implemented in daily life when based around specific aims. In some scenarios, such as South Africa or Palestine, boycotts have been waged and interwoven within broader struggles or campaigns and deployed within different times and spaces.

In the global north, and within consumer-based societies, boycott has come to be seen as an important tool of protest, to be exercised through not purchasing the products of an offending country, company or institution. However, boycotts can relate to cultural, sports and many other fields that are not linked to the capacity of a society to consume.

Boycotts are probably the tools for social and political change that can be accessed by the largest number of people all around the globe.


Do it yourself


1. Decide the type of boycott

From academia to sports, culture to academia, consumerism to tourism, a range of boycotts place emphasis on the mobilization of people to effectively isolate a chosen target. It is up to you to choose the most effective form of boycott within your field of action.


2. Choose your target group

Choose your target group keeping in mind that your target should allow you at least initial access to discussion. It should further be a section of society that can make a change either within the wider struggle or specifically for the boycott campaign you are developing.


3. Build up information and awareness raising material

Being able to count on solid arguments, information and data is crucial to convince others to join the boycott campaign. Build up factsheets, articles and other material that organizes the information you have in easily accessible format, gets the main message across and allows people to access more background information if they wish to do so.


4. Ensure sustained action

Almost no boycott campaign is immediately successful. It takes time and persistence to transform the call for boycott into action. If your campaign raises awareness and debate you are going in the right direction.

Even when you have achieved the first successes with groups, organizations and institutions formally endorsing the boycott campaign, it will still take hard work to transform the motions into action. Be prepared for consistent and meticulous follow up

Aims:

While boycott campaigns are often evaluated in terms of their economic impact, their success is also determined by their capacity to change opinion and political positions. A campaign should be evaluated by:

• Economic impact
• Greater exposure of the issue in the media
• Shifts generated in popular discourse over understandings and dynamics of the Palestinian struggle
• Psychological impact upon the offender that their behaviour is not acceptable


Why:

The term “boycott” originates from the story of Captain Charles Boycott, an Englishman who served as the agent for an absentee landlord in Ireland during the 19th century. In 1880, the tenants, encouraged by the Irish Land League, organized a campaign to isolate him. Subsequently, his name became immortalized in the word to boycott.

A multitude of boycott initiatives have since emerged in grassroots, civil activism and in struggles for social and political objectives. The power to use the tool of boycott is in the hands of everyone and can be implemented in daily life when based around specific aims. In some scenarios, such as South Africa or Palestine, boycotts have been waged and interwoven within broader struggles or campaigns and deployed within different times and spaces.

In the global north, and within consumer-based societies, boycott has come to be seen as an important tool of protest, to be exercised through not purchasing the products of an offending country, company or institution. However, boycotts can relate to cultural, sports and many other fields that are not linked to the capacity of a society to consume.

Boycotts are probably the tools for social and political change that can be accessed by the largest number of people all around the globe.


Do it yourself


1. Decide the type of boycott

From academia to sports, culture to academia, consumerism to tourism, a range of boycotts place emphasis on the mobilization of people to effectively isolate a chosen target. It is up to you to choose the most effective form of boycott within your field of action.


2. Choose your target group

Choose your target group keeping in mind that your target should allow you at least initial access to discussion. It should further be a section of society that can make a change either within the wider struggle or specifically for the boycott campaign you are developing.


3. Build up information and awareness raising material

Being able to count on solid arguments, information and data is crucial to convince others to join the boycott campaign. Build up factsheets, articles and other material that organizes the information you have in easily accessible format, gets the main message across and allows people to access more background information if they wish to do so.


4. Ensure sustained action

Almost no boycott campaign is immediately successful. It takes time and persistence to transform the call for boycott into action. If your campaign raises awareness and debate you are going in the right direction.

Even when you have achieved the first successes with groups, organizations and institutions formally endorsing the boycott campaign, it will still take hard work to transform the motions into action. Be prepared for consistent and meticulous follow up

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