Why boycott?

Boycotts are a time-honored non-violent strategy used throughout the world to protest injustice and oppression. Perhaps one of its most effective uses was during the struggle against South African apartheid, when artists and sports figures refused to perform or participate in sports events in South Africa. In fact, the current international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is modeled on that earlier South African campaign. In the US, the most well-known boycotts in recent history include the Montgomery bus boycott and the grape boycott; and other less known campaigns mobilized people during the Vietnam War to target Dow Chemical, the manufacturer of napalm, which also produced consumer products.

Unlike divestment campaigns which target institutional investors, boycott campaigns enable individual citizens to act directly on their conscience and participate in actions against the instruments of injustice, be they oppressive governments or corporations.

The reason these tools – boycott, sanctions and divestment – ultimately proved effective was because they had a critical mass of support, both inside and outside the country.
— Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu