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History shows that all protest movements rely on symbols - boycotts, strikes, sit-ins, flags, songs. Symbolic action on whatever scale - from the Montgomery Bus Boycott to wearing a simple wristband - is designed to disrupt our everyday complacency and force people to think.
In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime.
A boycott is, inherently, a blunt instrument. It is an imperfect weapon, a carpet bomb, when all involved would prefer a surgical strike.
My retirement, back in 1976, began as a one-year boycott to challenge the media on that question. I refused to return until the media, and radio stations in particular, got a hold on identifiably Canadian songs.
Stompin' Tom Connors
I think the people should have a right to boycott whoever they want to boycott without the government making them into criminals and try to protect corporations from people. They should protect people from corporations.
The black groups that boycott certain films would do better to get the money together to make the films they want to see, or stay in church and leave us to our work.
A boycott is directed against a policy and the institutions which support that policy either actively or tacitly. Its aim is not to reject, but to bring about change.
As Nelson Mandela has pointed out, boycott is not a principle, it is a tactic depending upon circumstances. A tactic which allows people, as distinct from their elected but often craven governments, to apply a certain pressure on those wielding power in what they, the boycotters, consider to be an unjust or immoral way.
Boycott is not a principle. When it becomes one, it itself risks becoming exclusive and racist. No boycott, in our sense of the term, should be directed against an individual, a people, or a nation as such.
I believe boycotts are wrong.
Hamas, the opponents of Arafat, the opponents of peace, urged a boycott of the election, and yet there was an 85 percent turnout where Hamas is supposed to be strong. Isn't that really quite incredible?
I just came from South Africa, a place that had been in a perpetual uprising since 1653, so the uprising had become a way of life in our culture and we grew up with rallies and strikes and marches and boycotts.
I can say unequivocally that the boycott does not work. It's never complete enough to have impact unless it's backed by force, and I don't think anybody in America seriously proposes that.
You have to be careful how you're using the word boycott.
Sanctions and boycotts would be tied to serious political dialogue.
Aung San Suu Kyi
Under Hitler it was the entrepreneurial and professional classes who were the first victims of Nazi boycotts and exclusion. Today it is Israel, the most powerful symbol of Jewish national resurgence in two millennia.
I think the whole boycott thing was a bit too much. It's because we're accomplished so much in women's tennis in the last two, three years. We deserve something better.
I as an elected official would never recommend anybody to boycott any city or state.
The international community and Israel have the same opinion regarding the Hamas government. We don't say we are going to boycott it forever. We say the Hamas government must abide by the obligations the Palestinian Authority has signed.
The main problem is that for a boycott to be effective, you must first persuade thousands - maybe even millions of others - to go along, which is a lot of work and usually not successful.
L. Neil Smith
Unfortunately, more and more Muslim voices are calling for boycotts of the United States and its products.
On general principle, I boycott shows that don't employ actors.
We must have a clear head and a clear-cut stand to confidently boycott those trains of thoughts that attempt to Westernise China, separate China and bring chaos to China.
Only if we accept the proposition that the state of Israel is the exclusive and legitimate representative of the Jewish people would a movement calling for divestment, sanctions and boycott against that state be understood as directed against the Jewish people as a whole.
When the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989, I was angry. I even wrote on the back of my car, Boycott Exxon!
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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