Boycotts can be very effective ways of putting pressure on a business. If you get enough people to stop shopping at a store or buying products produced by a company, they will start to lose money, and become more willing to negotiate with you. When organizing a boycott, it is essential to make sure the store or company knows what's going on - there are lots of reasons a business might lose money and you want to make sure they know it's because of what you're doing, not because customers don't like their new window display or found a better price down the block. Start by informing the target that if they won't negotiate with you, you will organize a boycott. Once the boycott is in progress, have people go in periodically to tell the shop-keeper why they aren't shopping there, or have people write letters to the compnay. The main task in organizing a boycott is to educate the consumers so they can change their buying habits. Posters, leaflets, and standing near the store (but not on their property unless you are prepared to move when they tell you to or risk arrest), and talking to people are all effective ways of educating people about your issue.

A walk out is the school version of a boycott - if you think of education as a product, then students are the consumers. Unlike a boycott, walk outs can have negative consequences fo the people who participate - there is no law saying people must buy a product, but there is one saying youth must go to school. If you are planning a walk out, be sure to consult a lawyer, sympathetic counselor or a friendly teacher, so that you know what the possible consequences are and prepare for them.



Speak Outs

Related topics:
How to Organize an Action At Your School
Civil Disobedience

ACT UP/New York