On Dec. 5 Shaun King, the senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, announced the launch of the Injustice Boycott. In his announcement, published at Medium, King described the social justice initiative as “an organized resistance, driven by local people and activists, supported by passionate believers all over the country and around the world.”
The Injustice Boycott has selected three locations that it plans to affect: New York City, San Francisco, and Standing Rock. The initiative will give the government leaders of those locations until Jan. 17, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to answer to the demands of local activists and organizers, and if those demands aren’t answered, the Injustice Boycott will launch several actions against the city. These actions will include:
- a tourism boycott of those cities;
- pulling money out of banks, financial institutions, and large corporations that either support racial injustice and police brutality in those cities or have not come out against them;
- and protests in the city that will be designed to shut down the work of businesses and city government.
New York City was chosen, as a focus of the Injustice Boycott in part because of its failure to convict or fire the officers who killed Amadou Diallo and Eric Garner. Likewise, San Francisco was chosen, as a focus of the Injustice Boycott in part because of the deaths of Alex Nieto, Jessica Williams, and Mario Woods, and because of the city’s failure to seriously punish any of its police officers who were discovered to have exchanged text messages with one another in which they discussed people of color with racist and violent language.
Standing Rock was selected as a focus by the Injustice Boycott months before the Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement that they will not approve an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline affecting the Standing Rock Sioux’s land. However, King said that, despite the Army Corps of Engineers’ Dec. 4 announcement, Standing Rock will remain one of the locations that the Injustice Boycott is focused on. This is because protection of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s land may not be permanent.
While the construction must be halted, this is not a full guarantee that it will not one day continue. First, the corporations and investors could literally decide to ignore the process, pay for fees and fines, and continue construction … Secondly, over the next year … Trump could stack the Army Corps of Engineers with his own people, and they could quickly change course and continue construction.
But these setbacks have not diminished King’s hope that justice will prevail. He considers the Army Corps of Engineers’ Dec. 4 announcement proof of the good that is possible.
“The hardfought victory won yesterday by the people of Standing Rock is both a lesson and an inspiration to all of us,” wrote King.
When we skillfully and passionately organize ourselves, when we focus on what’s possible and on what needs to happen, instead of how permanent it seems like justice will be, when we put aside our differences and focus on making change happen, it can happen. It will happen.
Read more here.