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From Angel Soft to Brawny... How to boycott the billionaire Koch brothers

[Editor's note: The following article came to Substance via Portside (http://portside.org) and is being shared with our readers following a large number of questions about how to take aim at some of the billionaires who have been trying to take away the remaining rights of working people, teachers, and unions. Koch Industries is doing everything from chicken (on Chicago's north side) to paper products and beyond, as the list below shows. Enjoy].

Billionaire David Koch (above) of Koch Industries has been funding the fascist attacks on unions through his Americans for Progress and his support for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Koch recently edged out New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to Forbes magazine, as the wealthiest man in Manhattan. How You Can Boycott the Kochs... The backlash against the Kochs' influence in Wisconsin is gaining steam, with labor supporters starting to boycott Koch Industries' many products (listed here)

by Lauren Kelley, AlterNet, February 28, 2011, http://www. alternet.org/story/150078/ how_you_ can_boycott_the_kochs

Over the past few weeks, the billionaire Koch brothers and their front groups have steadily increased their involvement in Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's efforts to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights. The Kochs' outsized wealth and influence are forces to be reckoned with; that's why we should all be grateful that a Koch backlash, including a boycott of Koch Industries' products, has started picking up steam.

AlterNet has been keeping a close eye on the Koch-financed support for Walker's anti-union campaign. As we reported last week, Walker is deep in the pocket of the Kochs, having received some $43,000 from Koch Industries while running for governor in 2010. Once Walker was elected, he made sure to take care of his friends/financiers, giving out massive tax breaks to Koch Industries, and more recently, launching the ongoing effort to quash Wisconsin union workers' rights.

As AlterNet's Washington bureau chief Adele Stan puts it, Walker is "carrying out the wishes of his corporate master." But why are the brothers Koch so interested in stifling labor rights in Wisconsin? For one thing, they have significant business interests in the region, with at least 17 facilities and offices in the state and some 4,000 miles of pipeline through Koch Pipeline Company, L.P. Also, the Kochs recognize that the outcome of the battle in Wisconsin could have national implications: if Walker wins, workers elsewhere might be less inclined to put up a fight. And that would be good for the Kochs' bottom line.

One boycott slogan being proposed is "Angel Soft ain't worth my _____"With the almighty dollar at stake, the Koch-funded astroturf group "Americans for Prosperity" has launched a pro-Walker campaign, comprised of a propaganda-filled Web site and petition, at least $342,000 worth of ad time on network and cable TV, and anti-union rallies at the Wisconsin state capitol building, for which AFP paid to bus in Tea Partiers.

AlterNet also reported late last week that two of Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal columnists are fronting for AFP and ginning up support for the union-busting cause as well.

Did the Kochs think no one would notice or care about the influence of AFP and Koch Industries in Wisconsin? If so, they were wrong. Word of a Koch Industries boycott is starting to spread around the progressive blogosphere. Daily Kos community site blogger geebeegee has a rather giant roundup of Koch products and notes, "Their major holdings are very difficult to boycott -- other than the promotion of clean energy and environmental laws, you may be stuck buying

their energy products, directly or indirectly. However, they do produce some consumer products that you should put to memory to NEVER purchase again."

Julia and David Koch at a New York City benefit for "Literacy Partners." Koch pushes the privatization and destruction of public schooling, teachers bashing, and the breaking of teacher unions, while supporting band aid volunteer programs like Literacy Partners to help poor people learn to read.There's also a Boycott and Defeat Koch Industries Facebook page that offers the same information and more. As of Monday afternoon, more than 10,000 people had "liked" the page.

Here's the colossal list of products being boycotted:

Angel Soft toilet paper

Brawny's guy thing looks like he needed a union when Brawny #1 (left) was dumped by his boss in favor of the new Mr. Brawny.Brawny paper towels

Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups

Mardi Gras napkins and towels

Quilted Northern toilet paper

Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper

Sparkle napkins

Vanity fair napkins

Zee napkins

Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes

All Georgia-Pacific lumber and building products, including:

Dense Armor Drywall and Decking

ToughArmor Gypsum board

Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood

Flexrock

Densglass sheathing

G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of

crafters)

FibreStrong Rim board

G/P Lam board

Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing

Blue Ribbon Sub-floor

DryGuard Enhanced OSB

Nautilus Wall Sheathing

Thermostat OSB Radiant Barrier Sheathing

Broadspan Engineered Wood Products

XJ 85 I-Joists

FireDefender Banded Cores

FireDefender FS

FireDefender Mineral Core

Hardboard and Thin MDF including Auto Hardboard,

Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF

Wood Fiberboard

Commercial Roof Fiberboard

Hushboard Sound Deadening Board

Regular Fiberboard Sheathing

Structural Fiberboard Sheathing

(INVISTA Products):

COMFORELr fiberfill

COOLMAXr fabric

CORDURAr fabric

DACRONr fiber

POLYSHIELDr resin

SOLARMAXr fabric

SOMERELLEr bedding products

STAINMASTERr carpet

SUPPLEXr fabric

TACTELr fiber

TACTESSEr carpet fiber

TERATEr polyols

TERATHANEr polyether glycol

THERMOLITEr fabric

PHENREZr resin

POLARGUARDr fiber and

LYCRAr fiber

Dixie paper products' profits are helping billionaires to fund union busting across the USA.The boycott is in addition to several other creative backlashes against the Kochs. For instance, there was the prank call from progressive blog editor Ian Murphy, posing as David Koch, to Scott Walker. Some punny protest signs have been making an appearance at pro-union rallies in Madison and elsewhere: "Don't be a Koch sucker: Wall Street broke America, not the unions," "Walker sucks Koch," etc.

And then there's "Anonymous," the infamous hacktivist group that in recent months has launched coordinated DNS attacks on companies that refuse to do business with WikiLeaks. The latest news is that Anonymous has targeted the Kochs for their efforts "to usurp American Democracy." The group managed to take down the AFP Web site for a time over the weekend. (In response, AFP released a statement saying that "Americans for Prosperity will not be intimidated and will not be deterred from our effort to support responsible economic policies, including the efforts of Governor Walker and other democratically elected leaders in that state to balance the budget through common-sense reforms.")

So the anti-Koch movement has begun, and it is gathering steam. Labor supporters may not have the money the Kochs have, but we have something better — a conscience. Combined with creativity and determination, it could get us somewhere.

[Lauren Kelley is an associate editor at AlterNet and a freelance writer and editor who has contributed to Change.org, The L Magazine and Time Out New York. She lives in Brooklyn.]



Comments:

March 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM

By: Sandra Hood

Koch Industries

I just made a copy of the products listed and plan on staying completely away from them! I'm doing home improvments and will find alternatives...Thank you for this info.

March 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

By: Glenn Rivera

Info on page

This is great. There needs to be a site with all of these RP A-holes and their businesses - we no longer shop at Target because of their political contributions against Equality.

Please post more of these idiots - we can hit them in their pocketbook! Show them who makes the the rich idiots they are.

Thank you

March 3, 2011 at 10:08 PM

By: Dominick Buscemi

Money and Love

His wife is a knockout. Who says money can't buy you love? I wonder if she would be with him if he was a school teacher?

March 4, 2011 at 4:09 PM

By: Paul, George and Ringo

Money can't buy me love... but a billion can buy lots of lovin'

Can't buy me love!

Can't buy me love!

I don't care too much for money

Money can't buy me love...

Wanna bet. It may not be the kind of true love that most working class men and women settle for, but the simulations are good enough for people like the Koches, whose dollars go a lot further than the affections of a guy like Wisconsin's Scott Walker. Wasn't Anna Nicole Smith involved with a Koch or two?

March 4, 2011 at 6:42 PM

By: Anita Chariw

boycott Koch Industries

Wonderful--great idea to hit them in their economic pocketbook!

March 5, 2011 at 10:57 AM

By: mm2

OK - will boycott

Most paper products we don't buy anyway, but sure will boycott any other items that were listed. (I thought the lady in the photo was his daughter, she looks so much younger).Guess money does attract!

March 6, 2011 at 4:48 PM

By: KL Prilson

Teachers unions

You morons! Hurting Koch Industries will hurt Wisconsin's public school teachers and all of the state and local workers.

"According to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), the Wisconsin Retirement System owns $5.5 million in Georgia Pacific corporate bonds. (Georgia Pacific is owned by Koch Industries.) This is the retirement system in which the overwhelming majority of state and local employees participate. These are the pension benefits that public employees are trying so hard to protect."

Think before you post non-sense please. Unless you hate Wisconsin's government employees, boycotting Koch Industries is just retarded.

March 7, 2011 at 6:59 PM

By: Roger Montgomery

Furthering the boycot

Next time you go shopping take a copy of the list with you and tell the store manager you will not be buying any of the products on the list. Then ask them to drop them from their store.

March 19, 2011 at 1:05 PM

By: Brat Stop

Koch Bros.

Koch Bros. libertarian? See the rundown of Koch donations to Wisconsin just since 2003 here http://ashlandcurrent.com/article/11/03/15/rundown-koch-donations-wisconsin-2003

March 20, 2011 at 7:12 PM

By: GodandCountry

COUNT ME IN

I'm in - never again. I bought quite a bit of Coolmax - no more. Not surprised since it's made in China like everything else they can do to move capitalist jobs to communists.

April 2, 2011 at 2:49 AM

By: karen

koch boycot

alot of their products are sold @ 99 cent stores.

June 2, 2012 at 9:34 PM

By: Breena Kronic

Charles and David Koch and Koch Industries

I saw this video on Youtube,it's done by the Australian generation x and occupy artist and Koch's arch-enemy James DeWeaver,his views are funny as is the anti-koch video he's done,just up aswell!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnAUTC8ak9c

July 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

By: Shelia Little

Boycotting this company

How dare you guys think you can take the money we spend buying your products to pay for George Zimmerman's legal fee's.....I hope this hurt you where it hurts the most your pocket.

April 17, 2014 at 9:00 PM

By: Janis Slock

boycotting

Boycotting isn't very effective. I, as well as hundreds of thousands of others, boycotted the Dow Chemical Company during the Viet Nam War and also after it. It did no harm to them. They are stronger than ever. What a waste.

April 20, 2014 at 8:44 PM

By: Casey Allen

Boycotting Koch Industries

It is never a waste to spend your money on products and services with altruistic moral value. Koch Industries and those like them will not see a dime of my money. Trade-offs are often a necessary part of adult decision making. They are only concerned with lining their own pockets with money. When will we learn, here in America, not to sell-out for short-term profit, and instead to look at the bigger picture?

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