Frequently Asked Questions
Response: Not at all. It is the current US policy which is destabilizing the economy and causing job loss in the United States. With the same amount of money one will create more jobs in social sectors compared to jobs in the military industrial complex.
The U.S. administration’s policies, unchallenged, hurt the U.S. working class. Forty-one million U.S. citizens – families of workers and the unemployed – live without health insurance, while the government wastes $400 billion per year on the military. Their policies of war, globalisation and economic domination backed by military might hurt working people elsewhere around the world so much more.
Furthermore people give up products or change brands and companies all the time because of multimillion advertising campaigns. And should people continue to smoke just to make sure no one loses jobs in the tobacco industry? Of course not. Boycott is a conscious consumers’ choice, not an economic war where working class is the innocent victim. People who boycott don’t consume less, they consume different.
Many of the targeted US companies endanger the environment, disrespect human rights, and many also contribute(d) to the weakening or collapse of local markets. With people choosing to buy local or fair trade products, the boycott might therefore help to put money again into local and fair economies, where it will bring greater yields to workers. And finally, if the US would invest less resources to the military, it could put these resources towards job creation in other vital social sectors (health care, education, culture, …).
Response: This boycott is not anti-American, it is pro-UN and pro-international laws. The boycott is not against the American people but against the Bush administration and its unilateral policies. We do work with NGO’s and people from the US for this purpose.
Response: The war’s on Iraq and Afghanistan were driven by the US securing its future energy needs. But also other economical interests drive the US foreign policies.
The products we propose to boycott make it possible for a wide range of consumers in all parts of the world to take part in this campaign, whether or not they make use of the petrol economy. All the targeted US multinational companies have a clear financial link with the Bush administration. And of course we link it to weapons manufacturers. These companies become a US embassy where consumers can easily register their opposition to US unilateral policies.
The "oil only" approach is often offered as an answer to the charge that a general boycott of U.S. corporations is too large and too nebulous a target - that it would be too difficult for Americans in particular to do. We reject this logic. An "oil only" approach makes boycotting more, not less difficult for people who have no alternative to their cars. Further, it is neither possible nor necessary for each boycott participant to avoid all U.S. products. Rather, we say most or much of what people need can be obtained from non-U.S. sources, but for consumers residing in the US there will inevitably be things you will have to buy from U.S. corporate producers. This is not a problem. If you need something not easily available from an alternate source, take care of your needs. Above all, use common sense. Make the easy choices first - oil may or may not be one of these. As people gain experience with identifying alternative sources, the boycott will become easier and more natural, and the need for an allegedly simpler alternative strategy such as "oil only" will fade away.
Response: For non-Americans implementation of the boycott seems to be straightforward to ban the proposed US products from your life. You can find all the necessary information on our website: check “Alternative Products” and “Links”. Don’t buy things that are identifiable as the listed products. There are plenty local and other alternatives. You just to have to make the effort to change your daily habits, but that’s for a very good reason. Each time you don’t buy a US product and go for an alternative, you say NO to the US foreign policies.
For people in the U.S., it’s more complicated of course. But make the easy choices first. Here are some examples we can suggest.
Re-arrange your life so you won’t need to buy a new car: use common transports, ride a bike, walk... You can also organize a car pool or a co-op taxi service. Buy from a food co-op, buy imported items when appropriate and reasonable, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) network, buy from family farms, grow your own or go organic.
Response: A boycott is effective before it is felt at the cash-register. It will in the first place affect the reputation and image of a company and its products. In the second place it can affect the spirits of the employees. And of course it can also impact the products sales. But we should keep in mind that the purpose of a boycott is more than just a decrease in sales.
The targeted US corporations are shaping and supporting the politics of the Bush administration. For consumers these companies become virtually Bush’s embassies. The boycott aims for the companies to redirect Bush’s policies within the framework of international law. The companies can send a clear message to the US administration as they have better communication lines with the Bush administration compared to human-rights-, peace- or environmental campaigners and activists.
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