By Patricia Lynn Henley
Pushing the concept of a boycott to an entirely new level, the National Committee to Impeach for Peace and WeAreNotBuyingIt.org are urging folks dissatisfied with the present administration (especially those who'd like to end the war in Iraq by impeaching Dubya and his sidekick Cheney) to wholeheartedly embrace the National Corporate Shopping Boycott from April 15 (tax day) to April 22 (Earth Day).
"It's something people can do. Actually, you don't have to do anything. Go to the flea market; stay out of the mall," explains Sonoma State University instructor Peter Phillips, co-author with Dennis Loo of Impeach the President: The Case Against Bush and Cheney. Asked the best way to support the nation after Sept. 11, Bush replied, "Go shopping." Now Phillips, Loo, 25 endorsing organizations and more than a thousand grassroots organizers nationwide hope Americans will protest by doing exactly the opposite--suspending all corporate shopping for one week by delaying major purchases, avoiding chain stores and staying out of shopping malls.
Participants are urged to support local retailers and small business owners. Buy produce from farmers markets. Fill up the gas tank in advance, or at an independently owned station. "Not shopping is pretty important in this country because shopping is so important. It's another pressure point we haven't used yet," Phillips explains. The goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the boycott plans and to get them all to participate.
"If millions of people do anything against the government in protest, they notice," Phillips asserts. "Whatever the American people do together has an impact." The boycott is being announced through e-mails, radio shows and newspaper stories. Positive responses have come in from all over the country, Phillips says.
In the past, activists have successfully boycotted a single product, such as grapes, or a particular company for its policies or practices. Now the idea is to go after every large corporation's bottom line. "The corporate economy is tied to political power," Phillips stresses. "This is aimed at corporate America. Whatever people do in mass numbers is scary to the elite."
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