Joe Biel (Microcosm Publishing) explores How to Boycott: Make Your Voice Heard, Understand History, & Change the World

Joe Biel
59 min readMar 18, 2019

For hundreds of years, boycotts have changed the world. Perhaps the most successful boycott of all time was when the British imperialized India in 1707 and Indians were forced to purchase British goods instead of their own. The British used to trade tea for opium with China but instead, they just took opium from India, building railroads throughout the country to move raw materials for profitable export. Indian riches were soon depleted and villages began starving. Mahatma Gandhi began encouraging protestors to boycott British goods and to buy Indian products instead. Gandhi mastered passive resistance and was jailed four times, going on a hunger strike to further push the British into reacting. Gandhi led a march to extract salt from the sea because the British claimed all Indian salt was their own. Millions of others were united and inspired by his actions to stand up to the imperialists. The self-image that Gandhi cast on the British after witnessing the behavior of Nazi Germany demonstrated to the British people a different view of their actions of holding India hostage. After many years, Gandhi created a pact with people of all religions in India and finalized a political agreement with Britain to finally return India to an independent nation in 1947.

In the 1840s, U.S. women began organizing to obtain the right to vote. They soon discovered that Congress — and even their own husbands — were unwilling to listen. The suffragettes splintered into two factions: a more moderate, Christian organization and a more militant one. Both withdrew from social relations to exert pressure on the government. On the militant side, women were arrested for voting illegally and for picketing the White House. Matilda Joslyn Gage, editor of The National Citizen, was so radical in her zine’s suffragist and abolitionist proclamations — incorporating the rights of Native Americans, the church’s role in subjugating women, prison rights, and motions towards racial justice — that her relatively conservative peers wrote her out of history. The moderate organization used the leverage…

Joe Biel

self-made autistic publisher and filmmaker formed by punk rock,