Boycott News from Issue 109 Nov/Dec 2007
Yes, that’s right, boycott everything on Buy Nothing Day. The message is simple: shop less, live more. Buy Nothing Day attracts a range of anti-consumerist actions exposing the ecological, ethical, social and psychological consequences of our addiction to consumerism.
This year’s Buy Nothing Day (UK) is Saturday 24th November 2007 (in the US and Canada Buy Nothing Day is always the day after Thanksgiving, 23rd November this year).
The anti-consumerist event, founded in 1992 by “culture jammer” activists Adbusters, is now celebrated in over forty countries. Join in by simply boycotting everything for a day, or get involved with an action promoting the message that there’s more to life than shopping.
Keep an eye on www.buynothingday.co.uk & www.adbusters.org or leave details with UK co-ordinators on 07896 237 648.
Viva! Success as Harvey Nichols Withdraws Foie-Gras ‘Torture in a Tin’
Animal welfare group Viva! won another campaign success after Harvey Nichols agreed to end the sale of foie-gras in all of its British stores after current stock runs out. The move follows peaceful protests outside both the company’s Manchester and Edinburgh stores by local Viva! groups.
Foie-gras is produced by force feeding birds large amounts of food through a pipe into the stomach until the birds develop fatty liver disease. The “torture in a tin” cannot be produced in Britain under animal welfare regulations.
Production has also been outlawed in Poland, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Israel. And in 2004 Viva! campaigning led to a ban on the production and sale of foie-gras in California. However, it is legal to import it to the UK, which is one of the largest consumers outside of France.
UK Government minister Ben Bradshaw has encouraged a consumer boycott, joining 138 MPs calling for a ban on UK sales. Viva! have already persuaded supermarket chain Lidl, wholesalers Makro and House of Fraser to drop the product.
Get involved: Viva! Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH, UK T: 0117 944 1000 F: 0117 924 4646. Email: email@example.com
70% of families support boycotting companies that don't go green
A study by media agency MPG UK has found 70% of UK families would support boycotting companies that don't take real steps to reduce their environmental impact. MPG UK is part of Havas, one of the world's largest advertising groups.
The study also shows the UK public is wary of ‘greenwashing’, with 54% believing companies’ reactions to environmental concerns are superficial. While scepticism may be justified, this highlights the danger of public cynicism – rejecting genuine claims along with marketing spin.
Which just goes to show how crucial it is to promote reliable information about company behaviour.
US labour organisations have called for a boycott of Enterprise Rent-A-Car after US workerswere sacked following attempts to unionize. Workers at Enterprise’s Boston airport facility asked management for negotiations over long overdue complaints regarding unsafe working conditions, wages and working hours abuses.
When management refused to negotiate, workers sought a union election supervised by the US National Labor Relations Board. Enterprise’s response? “You're fired!”. Some jobs were subcontracted out while others were told to apply for jobs at other Enterprise outlets.
Let Enterprise know that its union-busting will hit its profits world wide – contact Regional Vice President Mark Jewell and tell him: “I'm boycotting Enterprise Rent-A-Car until you stop subcontracting the airport facility jobs in Boston and sit down with employees to resolve their problems.”
Tel 001 781 238-2010 Fax 001 781 238-2099.
Updates from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Sign a pledge to boycott National ID card companies
The Government recently put out to tender contracts to deliver the National ID card scheme.
Civil liberties campaigners argue that the scheme will fundamentally change the relationship between the individual and state, detrimentally impact race relations and intrude on privacy. You can send a message to companies considering the job by pledging on-line to boycott the services of any company that wins a contract.
Join the pledge before 31st December at www.pledgebank.com/ID-Boycott.
“PledgeBank is about beating the feeling of powerlessness by connecting you with other people who also want to make a change,” says Tom Steinberg, director of the charitable group behind www.pledgebank.com.
The way it works is simple. You create a pledge which has the basic format “I'll do something, but only if other people will pledge to do the same thing,” and set a date for people to sign up. You can then use your pledge to promote your campaign.
Pledges range from an offer “to smile and say hello to a stranger every day this week,” to a promise to “buy £550 worth of fairtrade Palestinian produce, which I shall sell at cost price but only if 5 people living on or near the Isle of Wight will commit themselves to buying at least £19.95 worth.”
More on the Stop ID cards campaign
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