411 BCE: Arguably the oldest boycott is to be found in Aristophanes’ story of Lysistrata, who sought to end the Peloponnesian War by persuading the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace.
Late 1700s: on the eve of Passover, Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev, Ukraine declared the local matzoh factory treif (not kosher) because “the women in this factory work from early morning until late at night. They are laboring too long and too hard. They are not being paid fairly for their labors.” In so doing, he triggered a boycott of the factory’s matzoh by Jews in the community.
1773: Boston Tea Party – the dumping of British Tea into the Boston Harbor as part of a movement resisting taxation by the British of the colonists without representation.
1774: Continental Congress vote to boycott British goods and refuse to export goods to Britain.
1790: Supporters of abolition of the slave trade in Britain urge a boycott of sugar produced with slave labor.
1902: Chinese boycott of American products to protest the extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1902.
1902: Jewish women on the Lower East Side of New York boycott local butchers in order to bring down a rise in the regulated price of beef.
1903: Mohandas Gandhi and other anti-colonial leaders in India call for a boycott of British goods, launching the “Swadeshi” (self-sufficiency) movement.
1915, 1919, 1928, 1972, and 2005: Boycotts of Japanese products by the Chinese in response to Japanese aggression toward China.
1933: Anti-Nazi boycott of German goods in the US, Lithuania, Britain, Poland and Palestine on account of the Nazi’s growing anti-semitism.
1934: Nazi counter-boycott of Jewish-owned businesses in Germany. 1936: Boycott by 26 countries of Olympics held in Berlin.
1945: Arab League boycott of Israel.
1955: Montgomery Bus Boycott to protest racial segregation in public transportation.
1959: Call by Anti-Apartheid movement in South African for British subjects to boycott South African goods. This boycott grew in deliberate steps to include a world-wide boycott, sanctions and divestment movement.
1965: Call by Anti-Apartheid movement in South African for an academic boycott of South African universities.
1965: United Farm Workers call for a national boycott of table grapes to protest the deplorable working conditions of farm workers.
1973: LGBT groups call for boycott of Coors beer products on account of the company's anti-gay hiring policies.
1977: Global boycott of Nestlé products in response to unethical marketing of Nestlé infant formula as a substitute for breast milk in global south.
1977: Boycott of Florida oranges called by LGBT community to protest Anita Bryant's successful campaign to repeal Dade County ordinance granting non- discrimination protections to LGBT people.
1980: US-led boycott by 65 countries of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow in protest of Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
1984: Soviet-led boycott by 16 countries of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
1986: Call to boycott state of Arizona when its legislature refused to join other states in recognizing Martin Luther King's birthday as an official state holiday.
Milbank LLC discontinues $1 million gift to Harvard Law School after their funds were used to support an event entitled "The Palestine Exception to Free Speech"
In 2012 the law firm Milbank LLP made a gift to Harvard Law School ($200,000 annually for five years) to establish the “Milbank Tweed Student Conference Fund” (the Fund). The Fund was set up to subsidize student events at Harvard, yet it informed HLS that it desired to discontinue the Fund after it learned about an event sponsored by the student group Justice in Palestine that had received $500 in funding from the “Milbank Tweed Student Conference Fund” to cover catering expenses, and the students had acknowledged the Fund’s support in their announcements for the event – something required by law school policy.
The Open University Project drafted an Open Letter about Milbank's actions available here.
Milbank and Harvard Law School responded here. The Milbank spokesman stated that the firm did not want to sponsor "statements accusing governments of violating international law and other persons and institutions of engaging in wrongful or harmful conduct."
Professor Katherine Franke penned a reply to Milbank and Harvard in which she highlighted the many events sponsored by Milbank at Columbia Law School that included "statements accusing governments of violating international law and other persons and institutions of engaging in wrongful or harmful conduct."
Professors Katherine Franke and Steven Salaita discuss academic freedom at Brooklyn College on November 20, 2014:
Professor Katherine Franke holds a forum at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on the termination of Professor Steven Saliata's appointment on September 24, 2014:
Professor Katherine Franke appears on Democracy Now! to discuss threats to academic freedom and the Salaita case on September 9, 2014:
Letter from Professor Katherine Franke to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Challencellor Phyllis Wise on the case of Steven Salaita, September 2, 2014
Letter from U.S. faculty to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Challencellor Phyllis Wise on the case of Steven Salaita, August 15, 2014
Letter from Professor Katherine Franke to President Debora Spar, Barnard College, regarding the removal of Students for Justice in Palestine's banner, March 26, 2014
Letter from Columbia University Faculty to the New York State Assembly opposing "Anti-Boycott Bills," February 3, 2014