Tag Archives: boycott

Whose Academic Freedom Are We Talking About? An Analysis (14 January 2014)

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – An Inevitable Controversy

The controversy that broke out over the American Studies Association’s December 2013 vote to adopt an academic boycott of Israel was inevitable.The ASA’s academic boycott is a just a part of a much larger effort – the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – which has been growing worldwide over the last decade. In fact the movement’s progress in the United States has been relatively slow, but this is changing, and the ASA controversy is an indicator of this shift. That being the case, the reaction on the part of Zionist supporters of Israel in and out of academia came as no surprise.

On 5 January 2014 the New York Times reprinted a piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education more or less summarizing the reaction to the ASA move. It noted that “the presidents of more than 80 United States colleges have condemned the vote.” In addition five of these institutions of higher learning “have withdrawn from ASA membership.” The Chronicle piece concludes that the ASA has become “a pariah of the United States higher-education establishment.”

That is a rather premature judgment. There are roughly 4,500 colleges and universities in the U.S. Being condemned by the administrations (which is not the same as the faculties and student bodies) of 80 represents condemnation by less than 2 percent. Over one hundred institutions of higher learning have ASA membership. Losing five is again a small percentage. All of this hardly makes the ASA a “pariah.”  

There are also other ways of judging the impact of the ASA action. If one goal of the ASA boycott move is to stimulate debate about Israeli behavior and policies within a society (the U.S.) that has long been dominated by Israeli propaganda, then the move is certainly a success. It has brought to the surface many statements and charges that demonstrate just how decontextualized attempts to defend Israeli behavior are. If insightful counterarguments are spread about because of the ASA resolution, then the “pariah” has done quite well….

continue reading at To the Point Analyses

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Filed under Lawrence Davidson, Palestine & Israel

April Fool the Koch Brothers

Don’t Do Koch on April 1st

The Big Apple Coffee Party, our New York City affiliate, is expanding its “Don’t Do Koch” campaign to persuade the American people to choose alternatives to Koch brothers’ products when they shop – and they need all of us to help.

On April Fools’ Day, at retail outlets across the nation, we hope that all of you will want to join the Big Apple Coffee Party and hand out “Don’t Do Koch” flyers identifying products the Koch brothers make and sell with suggested alternatives.

WHEN:  Monday, April 1, 2013, at 12 PM and/or 6 PM 
(or at another time in April if you can’t join on April 1st)

WHERE:  Outside your local grocery, pharmacy or market

Gather a few of your friends, pick a store in your neighborhood that sells Koch brothers’ Georgia Pacific products, and hand out the flyers. You can do it at the times we’ve identified, or whenever is convenient for your team through the month of April. Plan to have at least two of you distributing leaflets. Let shoppers know there are product options they can buy to keep us all from being played for fools by the Kochs.  Go to the Facebook Event Page, and please like it, join it, share it and invite your friends. If you want to join an existing location, email the contact shown. To create your own location, click here and register. A toolkit containing all the things you need to run a location (including the handouts you’ll give to shoppers) are available here.

This action is easy to do. Let’s make it go viral!

If you have any questions (or if your registered location doesn’t get added to the Facebook location list), email the Big Apple Coffee Party at bigapplecoffeparty@gmail.com, or call (212) 252-2691 and leave a message.

The “Don’t Do Koch” flyering campaign works. Shoppers appreciate the information; and from their responses, it is clear that it’s impacting their shopping choices. It’s a great way to show the Koch brothers that they don’t own America!

For more information, go to Coffee Party USA.

Sincerely,
Sally Swisher
Big Apple Coffee Party and Coffee Party USA Member

P.S.  Want to support our work? Coffee Party USA is entirely funded by our 450,000 supporter—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in 5 dollars a month or more now by clicking HERE.

[Also download the Don’t Do Koch flyer here: Dont-Do-Koch-Flyer 4-1-13]

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A Well-Intentioned Bad Idea

United Steelworkers blog, from USW International Officers
By Jon Geenen, 3/30/11
International Vice President, United Steelworkers

By now anyone who had not yet heard of the Koch brothers has been introduced to them. Every major newspaper and magazine has run an article about the brothers who until recently lived largely under the radar while advancing a political vision via political action committees and think tanks funded by their fortunes.

In the advent of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, journalists and others have made a clear connection between the Koch brothers and their role and influence in the advancement of the agenda of the far political right. Indeed, it is important, in fact essential, that Americans know who is driving the agenda and what the agenda is about, although the Citizens United decision and federal law allow the Koch brothers and other wealthy funders of the far right to donate in secret.

The groups that generally operate in the middle and to the left of the center of the political spectrum who identify themselves as moderate, progressives, trade unionists and other like-minded people are outraged by this dirty little secret. It has led to a progressive uprising in some areas, with protests that are said to eclipse the anti-war protests of the 1960s. These groups have also launched various efforts to pressure the financiers and architects of this agenda into rethinking their positions.

Therein lies at least one problem.

A number of organizations are advocating a boycott of the products that come from companies owned by the Koch family. This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it could potentially hurt the wrong people.

The Koch brothers own Georgia Pacific. It is an American consumer goods company that makes everyday products like facial tissue, napkins, paper towels, paper cups and the like. Their plants are great examples of American advanced manufacturing. Incidentally,

GP makes most of its products here in America. The company’s workforce is highly unionized. In fact, 80 percent of its mills are under contract with one or more labor union. It is not inaccurate to say that these are among the best-paid manufacturing jobs in America….

keep reading at United Steelworkers blog

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Boycott and Defeat Koch Industries

For all of the posts on our site about the Koch Brothers, click here.

For a list of Koch products and related info, see the Facebook site Boycott and Defeat Koch Industries. From that site:

See also a list of $5000+ contributors to Gov. Walker (including Koch front groups) at Vote With Ur Wallet.

According to “The Koch Industries Boycott Grows Even Faster” at
Vote With Ur Wallet, March 3, 2011:

In less than a week the call to boycott Koch Industries products has spread like wildfire. Some people were calling for these boycotts when it was announced who Gov. Walker of Wisconsin’s puppet masters were. Then there was the infamous Koch Brothers prank phone call. People around not just the US but the world were floored when they heard the blatant corruption as Gov. Walker spilled the beans to what he thought was David Koch. That is when the boycott got rollerskates.

This was really a true grassroots movement. Those who had already known about the evil of the Koch brothers and their plan to subvert the political and democratic fabric of the nation were right on this. Now many others were jumping on it. People didn’t want to give these people their hard earned dollars and were genuinely offended by what is going on. To make things worse the Koch brothers wrote editorials mocking the American people….

read more at Vote With Ur Wallet

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