Since none of us are directly involved in purchasing nuclear weapons, a boycott of companies involved in the development and production of nuclear weapons is about refusing to purchase other goods or services they may also produce. Consumer boycotts have been used very successfully for centuries to try to influence the behavior of companies and indeed of governments (some historians credit the ending of apartheid to the worldwide boycott of South African goods during the 1980s).
When it comes to Treaty Compliance, this is not simply about boycotting certain companies because we do not like what they are doing. This is a boycott of what is now considered to be illegal activity on the part of these companies.
- The first step to boycotting the nuclear industry is (again) to do the research. We need to know which companies are engaging in the nuclear weapons business, what products or services these companies provide, other than nuclear weapons, and whether we are knowingly or unknowingly purchasing any of those products or services from these companies.
2. The next step in boycotting is to contact those companies to let them know about your personal concerns regarding nuclear weapons, the significance of the Nuclear Ban Treaty in terms of making these weapons illegal under international law, and asking for confirmation that they are indeed involved in the nuclear weapons business and if so, why? You can find a draft letter to send to any of these companies here.
3. The third step is to make this public. As with divestment, it is only by making our personal choices public that we exert influence on these companies. You can add your name to a national petition going to each of the companies involved in the nuclear weapons business. You can also do your own publicity, including stunts or social media to your friends.
4. As with divestment, it is only after making known your decision to boycott, both to the company involved and to as many others as possible, that you should then take the step of refusing to purchase whatever it is that you might otherwise purchase from that company.
5. The final step in boycotting is to re-direct your purchase to another supplier who is Treaty Compliant. As with every other activity in this campaign, we are explicitly making the link between getting rid of nuclear weapons and encouraging those very companies to re-direct their workforce and business to addressing climate change instead.