Archive | September, 2012

Introducing the 1791-93 slave sugar abstention campaign

26 Sep

Image

A cross section of the slave ship Brookes (1789), showing the horrific conditions of passage suffered by 482 men, women and children who were contained in the hold for the trans-Atlantic journey from the West coast of Africa to the Caribbean. Copies of this drawing were distributed by the Abolitionist Society in the UK as part of the sugar boycott.

Commodity boycotted: West Indian sugar

Specific egregious concern: The slave trade

Core themes: Enslaved labour, achieving spiritual purity, the perceived moral decline of Empire and creating moral credit and legacy, philanthropic concern, extra-parliamentary politics, romanticism, radical food politics, blood-sugar topos

Key boycotting organizations: Philadelphia & British Society of Friends, The Anti-Slavery Committee, The Abolition Committee, Amis des Noirs

Companion tactics: Petitions, buycotts (East Indian sugar), publishing witness accounts of slavery, developing a freed slave republic producing free labour commodities, civic & parliamentary debating, commercial endorsement, political networking, poetry writing and readings.

Key activist contact points: Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Oxford, Sierra Leone, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, Edinburgh

Keywords:  Abstension, Moral-suasion, Purity, Complicity, Responsibility, Benevolence, Witness,  Philanthropy

Topoi: blood/sugar, tears/sugar, sweetness/bitterness

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Introducing Boycot Outpan Aktie (1972-1994)

24 Sep

 

Boycott Outspan Action were an innovative European anti-apartheid and anti racism organization of the 1970s and 80s. The BOA were one of several widely supported Dutch anti-apartheid organizations that emerged in the period between the Sharpeville massacre (1960) and the Soweto killings (1976). However, among this group the BOA were unique in that they prioritized action and worker solidarity over rhetoric, they were highly critical of Dutch government’s official and unofficial relationship with apartheid South Africa, and they saw apartheid as a terrible but wholly logical extension of European racism.

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