ACTION ALERT – Your Support Needed Again to Stop Anti-Boycott Resolution in Illinois Legislature

While we were able to mobilize opposition to Senate Bill 3017, its sponsor, Senator Ira Silverstein, has introduced a toxic resolution,SJR 59, which is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, April 1 at 4 p.m. in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Many of you have responded to previous calls for action on this and other attacks on academic freedom.  To defeat this resolution, we need your help now!


We urge Illinois residents to make calls to members of the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee on the mornings of Monday, March 31st and Tuesday, April 1st, to oppose the resolution.

Here are several talking points:

I ask the Senator to vote NO on Senate Resolution SJR 59.  The Illinois General Assembly should not

Call on college and university administrators to condemn the use of ALL academic boycotts – potentially limiting the ways that faculty can advocate on issues of public concern and ostracizing those that choose this

Support unconstitutional actions
that limit constitutionally protected speech and association  (See ACLU opposition to resolution at


Characterize supporters of academic boycotts of Israel as anti-Semitic – without a shred of evidence and despite the fact that many supporters of the academic boycott of Israel are Jewish and see it as a legitimate tool to confront Israeli human rights violations.


1) If you are a constituent of any of the Judiciary Committee senators below, please call his or her office and identify yourself as a constituent. If you don’t know who your State Senator is, go to this link and type your address to find out:
2) Otherwise, call the chair and vice-chair of the committee and identify your affiliation (college or university, civil liberties, peace organization, concerned citizen etc.).

3) If you have time, call the resolution’s sponsor, Ira Silverstein, who is on the committee.

Committee Members

Chair Kwame Raoul 13th District (217) 782 – 5338 or if the phone is busy.
Vice-Chair John Mulroe 10th District (217) 782 – 1035
Member William R. Haine – 56th District  (217) 782 – 5247
Member Don Harmon – 39th District  (217) 782 – 8176
Member Michael Hastings – 19th District  (217) 782 – 9596
Member Toi Hutchinson – 40th District  (217) 782 – 7419
Member Michael Noland – 22nd District  (217) 782 – 7746
Member Ira Silverstein – 8th District – (217) 782 – 5500 (sponsor of resolution)
Minority Spokesperson Kirk Dillard – 24th District – (217) 782- 8148
Member Jason Barickman – 53rd District  (217) 782 – 6597
Member Darin LaHood – 37th District  (217) 782 – 1942
Member Dale Righter – 55th District  (217) 782 – 6647

WE ARE ALSO ASKING YOU TO SIGN AN ONLINE WITNESS SLIP TODAY to oppose its passage in the committee and by the Illinois General Assembly. Already, supporters of Senator Silverstein are mounting their own witness slip campaign in response to the success of our past efforts. It will only take a couple of minutes – but its impact on legislators is major (directions below).  IF YOU ALREADY SIGNED A WITNESS SLIP ABOUT THE BILL, THIS IS A NEW PROCESS FOR THE NEW RESOLUTION – PLEASE SIGN THIS AS WELL.


Step-by Step Instructions for Witness Slips for Submission to Illinois Legislature (ILLINOIS RESIDENTS ONLY)

1.       Click on Link

2.       Identification: Enter your personal information. If you are an academic or a member of a relevant free speech, human rights, or peace organization – list your institutional affiliation.
3.       Representation: If you are representing and organization – list it here.
4.       Position: Click on the button next to “Opponent”
5.       Testimony: Click on the box next to “Record of Appearance Only”) Filling out a witness slip does not mean you have to appear in person at the hearing – it is a mechanism that allows you to register your opposition to the resolution.
6.       Type the Captcha Code in the box.
7.       Click Next to “I Agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement.
8.       Click on “Create Slip.”


THANK YOU for taking action! Our organized response can help prevent this resolution from moving forward!

The Illinois Coalition to Protect Academic Freedom and Free Speech was formed in response to anti-boycott legislation introduced in the Illinois State Senate.

The coalition includes CAIR-Chicago as well as the Center for Constitutional RightsJewish Voice for Peace-ChicagoPalestine Solidarity Legal SupportAmerican Studies AssociationCommittee for a Just Peace in Israel and PalestinePalestine Solidarity Group-ChicagoArab-Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle EastCommittee Against Political RepressionFriends of Sabeel: North AmericaUnited States Palestinian Community Network, American Friends Service Committee- Chicago, Just Foreign PolicyDefending Dissent FoundationAmerican Muslims for PalestineUIC Graduate Employees Organization, IFT-AFT Local 6297the National Lawyers Guild- ChicagoCouncil of Islamic Organizations of Greater ChicagoMuslim American Society-Public Action and Civic Engagement, and other individuals.