Wednesday, March 07, 2007

After 9/11, Bush urged us to go shopping. Here's a better idea

On January 10 of this year, Dr. Peter Phillips, a professor at Sonoma State University and director of Project Censored, came to Healdsburg to speak at an impeachment forum I organized (with a lot of help) and moderated. At the end of the forum, Dr. Phillips announced We're Not Buyin’ It, a shopping boycott from April 15, Tax Day, until April 22, Earth Day. Its goals include showing opposition to the war in Iraq and support of impeaching Bush and Cheney.

Not shop? I thought back to Bush’s comments about shopping after 9/11. As reported on
CNN five years after 9/11: “Bush asked Americans to go shopping, and they did – bringing an economy shattered by the attacks back to full speed within a few years.”

And in the October, 2003 issue of The Washington Monthly there was a memorable article, Mourning in America - How Bush privatized September 11, by Benjamin Wallace-Wells. In the section, “The politics of sacrifice,” Wells pointed out: “On September 20, in his first lengthy national address after the attacks, Bush told the citizens of the United States what they personally could do: ‘…your continued participation and confidence in the American economy would be greatly appreciated.’ “

If our continued participation in the American economy helped put us where we are today, bogged down in two wars and living with the possibility of yet another attack on another country, why not consider doing the opposite? That’s the goal of the We're Not Buyin’ It campaign.

The campaign’s Mission states: “A boycott is simply a form of non-violent resistance. By simultaneously withdrawing our support from the economy, millions of people can have a dramatic impact on the policies of individual corporations and even national governments. ” Successful boycotts include the following: “ In 1990, ACT-UP staged a boycott of Phillip Morris that resulted in providing millions of dollars for AIDS` research. In 1994, a boycott waged against Shell Oil, Kellogg's and Coca Cola helped to increase the momentum of the anti-apartheid movement. In 1995, the International Peace Bureau called for a boycott of all French products in opposition to nuclear testing.”

The appeal to me is that I can do nothing and still make a difference. I can just stay home and not shop from April 15th to the 22nd. I need this because I’m worn out from several years of citizen activism. But for those who want to do more, go to We're Not Buyin’ It. You will find many things you can do in addition to not shopping for a week. Here you will find the businesses that deserve our support.

And if you need some inspiration, go to Peter Tracy's website, and click on his new song, “We Ain’t Buying It.”


sixblueten said...

Reminds me of Not One Damn Dime day a few years back. Got national news.


Anonymous said...

The goal of this campaign is elusive, if it's something other than telling BushCo. that we aren't buying anymore of his lies. Isn't the issue somewhat semantic, i.e., that we use the word "buy" to mean purchase as well as "agree with"?

Gail Jonas said...

In response to "anonymous," I'm don't see the campaign as elusive. I think my post is, though, since I didn't come out and say that the main goal is to support the impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

It's possible that people will see a week of no shopping as a protest against the "corporatizing" or our country. They may see it as a way to slow down the economy to discourage the future funding of the war in Iraq and possible attack on Iran.

I see a week of no shopping as a refusal to participate in what our leaders are saying this country is about.

The use of "buy" in "We're not buyin' it" has a double meaning, which I think is pretty clever.

Anonymous said...

Politics or no piltics. I think it's time for americans to realise that by this kind of consumerisma dn shopping spree what kind of violence there are gifting to the world. I am not talking about wars. the American consumerism itself is resulting in the human rights violation through out the world.

watch this video to know how

Gail Jonas said...

Thanks for the link to Story of Stuff. I also received it by e-mail from an old friend today. Perhaps "anonymous" and my friend are the same person. Doesn't matter. This is a great source of information.