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Boycott Koch Brothers products... An April 2011 update

The boycott that began when Wisconsin discovered that Governor Scott Walker was being subsidized by some of the most reactionary billionaires in history (the Koch brothers) has been widening as more and more information becomes available to the public and to activists now organizing to battle agains the fascist attacks. Below is the article we originally published at www.substancenews.net on March 3, 2011, with additional graphics.

One of the many products from Koch Industries is Angel Soft.One major list of Koch Industries products contains the following:

Invista:

Lycra

Coolmax

Tactel

SolarMax

Polarguard

Dacron

Thermolite

Comforel

Antron Carpet Fiber

Stainmaster Carpet

Cordura

Georgia-Pacific:

VanityFair

AngelSoft

Quilted Northern

Sparkle

Brawny

MardiGras

Dixie

DensArmorPlus

Platinum Plywood

ToughRock

International Brands:

Demak Up

KittenSoft

Lotus

Moltonel

Tenderly

Nouvelle Recycling

Okay

Colhogar

Delica

Inversoft

Tutto

[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].

Charles and David Koch.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.

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."

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 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

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.]



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