Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Is the Black-Led Boycott of San Francisco a Bust?

The New York Daily News's senior justice reporter, Shaun King, is a black writer with a virtual army behind him. He's got over 554,000 followers on Twitter.

On December 5, King launched the Injustice Boycott with these words:

"Today, we are announcing the first three cities of our boycott. They are Standing Rock, San Francisco, and New York City.

"We are giving those cities, the businesses and corporations that call those cities home, the states they are in, and the federal government, 43 days, that’s until King Day of 2017, to meet the reasonable and humane demands of local activists in those cities."

This is awfully vague and contains no actual demands, why they should be met and who exactly will carry them out. Is this supposed to be concrete organizing as the Trump Era dawns? Things get more opaque:

"The government officials in those cities know full well who the local activists are. The government officials in those cities know full well what the reasonable demands of those local activists are. And today, we are serving notice, that it is time for government officials, businesses, and all interested parties in those cities to actually make serious, substantive, measureable change happen over the next 43 days."

Well, I live in one of those cities and sure would like to know who these activists and what demands they have. Specific names and goals are needed, but none forthcoming from King or anyone in the Injustice Boycott group, if there even is anyone in a leadership position besides King.

Let me state that I follow King on Twitter and occasionally read his Daily News pieces, and much of what he is fighting for are causes I also believe in, such as full police accountability.

But I'm blase about his boycott and the long on history, short on details for contemporary grassroots organizing in and against two major cities. Good writing from King is no substitute for actual plans and details.

Numerous tweets and emails were sent to King, seeking answers to my questions and no response was received. Since the launch of his boycott a month ago, there's been no update on the site.

There is no page about King's demands on San Francisco and the page for Standing Rock's demands is empty, as shown in the photo. This is no way to organize a boycott and one that many progressives and liberals have heralded as effective resistance to Trump.

Where exactly is this boycott taking place and who's assessing its impact?

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