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A boycott is an act of nonviolent, voluntary abstention from a product, person, organization, or country as an expression of protest. It is usually for moral, social, political, or environmental reasons. The purpose of a boycott is to inflict some economic loss on the target, or to indicate a moral outrage, to try to compel the target to alter an objectionable behavior.


  • The boycott, as Gandhi taught, is the most nearly perfect instrument for nonviolent change, allowing masses of people to participate actively in a cause.
    • Cesar Chavez 1982 speech, anthologized in An Organizer’s Tale (2008)
  • Economic power has to precede political power. Gandhi understood this when, in 1930, he and his followers resolved to defy the British government's salt monopoly by making their own salt from the sea; this boycott was one of the crucial steps in the Indian fight for independence.
    • Cesar Chavez "Sharing the Wealth" 1970 essay for Playboy, anthologized in An Organizer’s Tale (2008)
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