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Where are the boycotts of yesteryear?

By       Message Robert S. Becker     Permalink
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BP, No Better Boycott Prospect

Indeed, BP is a terrific place to renew your boycott energy. Check out F acebook BP Boycott. We're not talking industrial "accidents" but a rapid-fire, negligent plethora of fiascoes:

  • BP's 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion killed 15, producing a record-setting OSHA fine;
  • BP's 2006 Prudhoe Bay oil spill, the largest on Alaska's North Slope, producing a $25 million civil penalty, then the largest per-barrel penalty;
  • BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill, the world's worst environmental disaster, dumping five million gallons of crude that polluted a seaway irreplaceable to people and wildlife. Mammoth penalties (beyond $5 billion already assessed) getting finalized under the Clean Water Act and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment, overall to top $42 billion, the largest corporate penalty ever. BP only pled guilty to 11 counts of felony manslaughter, two misdemeanors, and one felony count of lying to Congress.  

And there's nothing "past" about crippling BP blunders: a 40,000 lb. mat of oil spill tar (165' ft X 65') just surfaced off a Louisiana beach, the tip of the 2.7 million pound iceberg of waste "cleaned up" since 2010 (is it "clean-up" if its lasts forever?). Poisoning extends far beyond the Gulf, per the Chicago Tribune: for years BP has exceeded by 20 times federal mercury dumping limits into Lake Michigan. If no ground-shaking jeopardy closes down such serial blights, the last, standing "sustainable" entity won't be Mother Earth but an oil driller that racks up $25 billion in annual profits. Is BP also "too big to fail," or too big and international to reign in from more devastations?

A quick reminder, simple, how-to kit for driving a boycott home plus big, successful modern boycotts:

1930: Gandhi's March to the Sea defies the colonial British tax on commercial salt.

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1955: Montgomery Bus Boycott: Rosa Parks' arrest led to comprehensive boycott led by then-unknown Martin Luther King, Jr., ended 18 months later by Supreme Court's agreement segregated buses are unconstitutional.

1960s: Grape Boycott: grassroots/community non-violent protest organized by the Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers highlighted plight of migrant workers, led to union contract and superior working conditions.

1980-90's: Anti-Apartheid Boycotts: embargoed financial dealings with South Africa to defy racist "apartheid" policy.   

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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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