|Not One Damn Dime Day|
|Netlore Archive: 'Not One Damn Dime Day' email flier urges citizens to protest the war in Iraq by refusing to spend money on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2005|
Email example contributed by Martha G., 12 December 2004:
Subject: Jan. 20
Inauguration Day, Thursday, January 20th, 2005 is "Not One Damn Dime Day" in America.
On "Not One Damn Dime Day" those who oppose what is happening in our name in Iraq can speak up with a 24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending. During "Not One Damn Dime Day" please don't spend money. Not one damn dime for gasoline. Not one damn dime for necessities or for impulse purchases.
Not one damn dime for anything for 24 hours.
The object is simple. Remind the people in power that the war in Iraq is immoral and illegal; that they are responsible for starting it and that it is their responsibility to stop it.
"Not One Damn Dime Day" is to remind them, too, that they work for the people of the United States of America, not for the international corporations and K Street lobbyists who represent the corporations and funnel cash into American politics. Not One Damn Dime Day" is about supporting the troops. The politicians put the troops in harm's way. Now 1,200 brave young Americans and (some estimate) 100,000 Iraqis have died. The politicians owe our troops a plan -- a way to come home.
There's no rally to attend. No marching to do. No left or right wing agenda to rant about. On "Not One Damn Dime Day" you take action by doing nothing. You open your mouth by keeping your wallet closed.
For 24 hours, nothing gets spent, not one damn dime, to remind our religious leaders and our politicians of their moral responsibility to end the war in Iraq and give America back to the people.
Please share this email with as many people as possible.
Comments: Despite a plethora of Internet references to this "24-hour national boycott of all forms of consumer spending" scheduled for Inauguration Day 2005, no one seems to know who penned the anonymous email manifesto, nor does there appear to be any central, organizing body behind it.
The effort is reminiscent of previous email-driven protests in particular, the gasoline boycotts of past years and likely to net the same result in the end: a trickle of news coverage noting a disappointing outcome despite a great deal of sound and fury leading up to the event.
As economists have pointed out before, grassroots consumer boycotts can be effective, but a sustained, focused, organized effort is required, not a one-day shopping break inspired by the haphazard distribution of an anonymous forwarded email.
Update: The "Not One Damn Dime Day" boycott appears to be gathering steam at least in the media even as pundits debate its effectiveness:
Inaugural Protest Ideas Sprout Across Internet
Houston Chronicel, 10 January 2005
Writer Urging Inauguration Day Boycott
Associated Press, 11 January 2005
On Jan. 20, War Protest Will Turn on a 'Dime'
USA Today, 12 January 2005
Sources and further reading:
Activists Plan 1-Day Boycott on Spending
MaineToday.com, 28 December 2004
Dollars Against Bush
San Francisco Bay Guardian, 5 Jan 2005
1-Day Gas Boycott Is Just a Lot of Hot Air
Detroit Free Press, 18 May 2004
Last updated: 01/12/05