Today, Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King rolled out plans for an “Injustice Boycott,” a four-step initiative aimed at cities and companies that have facilitated or remained silent on issues of racial injustice and police brutality.
“It’s not a petition. It’s not a Facebook page. It’s not a retweet or a hashtag,” King said in a Medium post announcing the boycott, which begins on the 61st anniversary of the launch of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The initiative is targeting San Francisco, New York City, and Standing Rock, the Native American reservation that last night won a temporary stay of construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
Speaking to Fast Company, King says, “All over the country, people ask me what they can do about injustice. First and foremost, the Injustice Boycott was designed to give people a practical answer to that question. Secondly, of all the things we’ve tried to loosen the lid on the jars of justice over this past year, a true boycott has not been one of them. We simply want to do whatever we can to make justice more likely.”
The Injustice Boycott, which King says includes “hundreds of thousands” of local activists, is structured into four tiers of action, which will commence in 43 days if the cities and corporations within them do not “meet the reasonable and humane demands of local activists.”:
1) A full tourism boycott of those three cities, accompanied with a plan to support local entrepreneurs.
2) A comprehensive divestment of funding from banks and financial institutions that organizers deem as contributing or remaining silent on racial injustice. (J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, for example, are backers of the Dakota Access Pipeline.)
3) A national boycott of large corporations headquartered in the targeted cities. (A sizeable list, which would include CBS, Macy’s, Rocawear, Jamba Juice, Verizon, and ironically, Twitter.)
4) A series of “creatively disruptive” protests in the targeted cities, aimed to “shut down commerce and government work.” (New York City is investing heavily in efforts to attract tourists.)
“We’ve spent months planning this boycott,” King told Fast Company. “We are also rolling the boycott out in phases in order to help us be most effective.”
King, a contributing writer for the New York Daily News and a widely known advocate for criminal justice reform, says nearly 5,000 people have signed up for the boycott’s newsletter this morning alone.