Boycotts By: Brendan Mulligan

A boycott is a type of peaceful protest. The definition of a boycott is "to join with others in refusing to deal with a person, organization, or country usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of terms." During a peaceful protest there is no violence, but that doesn't mean boycotts are useless, because even though no pain is afflicted to anyone, many people use them to get their point across. Boycotts were very popular in the south during the 1960's, and are still used today as a way to make a stand against something they find is wrong. Two famous examples of boycotts are the 1980 Summer Olympics, and the 2014 Market Basket Boycott, and the 1767 boycott of English goods.


In 1776 the English passed a series of acts called the Townsend Acts, which forced the colonist to pay taxes on glass, paper, lead, paint, and tea that had to be imported from Britain. Boston's colonists agreed to not use or buy any of Britain's goods. This way if they stopped buying them, then none would have to be shipped from England, and therefore they wouldn't have to pay anything, but the. British did not like this. The British had already pre-made many of the products they expected the colonists to buy, but when they stopped buying them, the items did not go anywhere, and the companies were losing money. This lead the British to pass the Tea Act, which lowered tax prices on tea, so that the colonists would buy it, in an attempt to save the tea companies from bankruptcy. Then the British ordered nearly 350 chests full of tea, without consent from the colonists, and made them pay the taxes for it, but the colonists got mad and threw it all overboard in an event now called "The Boston Tea Party." This protest was successful, because it forced Britain to take back the Townsend and Tea Acts, and cost them nearly $18,000.


This was the banner for the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow, Russia. Source:

On January 20, 1980, President Jimmy Carter made a statement saying if the Soviets did not extract their soldiers from Afghanistan in one months time then the USA would boycott the Olympics. He wanted them to get out of Afghanistan, because if the Soviets kept pushing deeper in then that would cause conflict in Asia. In all a total of sixty-six countries did not attend the Olympics that year. The Soviets were not happy, and when the USA won the 1984 Summer Olympics, the Soviet Union withdrew, and boycotted them due to "an anti-Soviet hysteria being whipped up in the United States" but only thirteen other countries joined the Soviets with this boycott. After the deadline, The Soviet Union did not take their soldiers out of Afghanistan, but the USA said they would go if there was a significant change in the problem, but nothing ever happened. This was the biggest Olympic boycott to the date, and it was successful. Even though the Soviets did not withdraw, the USA made many countries aware of this problem, and put pressure on the Soviets, who eventually lost the war in Afghanistan.

This is a map of all the countries who joined the USA and boycotted the olympics. Source:


This is the logo of the large supermarket chain Market Basket. Source:

During 2014 300 employees, six managers, and many other people in Massachusetts boycotted Market Basket from June 23 to August 2.The reason for this was because the Board of Directors at DeMoulas Super Markets Inc., who own Market Basket, fired the CEO Arthur Demoulas, which meant that since someone else was running the company, the workers would lose benefits, money from their salary, raise values, and bonuses.

This is a picture of Arthur T Demoulas who was the CEO that was fired, and sparked the boycotts. Source

The Board of Directors at DeMoulas Super Markets Inc. were not happy to hear this, and tried to stop the protests, but the people would not stop until Arthur Demoulas was rehired. On July 20, the workers went on strike, and nearly 5,000 people grouped together outside of a Market Basket in Tewksbury, Massachusetts and held up signs saying things like "Bring back Arthur" and "Do not shop at Market Basket". The workers threatened to resign if Authur Demoulas was not rehired, but he was still unemployed. Then on August 27, 2014, the Market Basket shareholder agreed to sell him the remaining 50.5 shares of the company, and the same day the protests ended. This protest was a success, because the workers made the company listen to what they wanted and Arthur Demoulas was sold 50.5 % of the company.

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