ACTION ALERT: Call your State Reps!

UPDATED ACTION ALERT FOR ILLINOIS – Keep Calling Your Representatives! Don’t let Illinois penalize human rights boycotts of Israel!

The full Illinois House and Senate are still considering HB4011 and SB1761, respectively, and will vote on them by Friday.

These bills have been amended several times.  The latest Amendment is focused on requiring that state retirement systems create blacklists of companies that boycott Israel because of its human rights violations, and mandates that they withdraw their investments from these companies.  This amendment passed on the House floor and in the Senate Judiciary committee on Tuesday, April 21 2015.

These bills must be opposed in order to protect the right to engage in boycotts that reflect collective action to address a human rights issue, which the US Supreme Court has declared is protected speech and associational activity.  These bills would make it state policy to discourage support of human rights boycotts against Israel and of “companies based in Israel or in territories controlled by the state of Israel,” and have the potential to stifle expressions of political beliefs, associations and activities.

Call your Illinois Representative and Senator NOW and tell them:

-I am your constituent and I oppose – House Bill HB 4011 or Senate Bill SB 1761.

-This bill attacks the right to engage in boycotts that address human rights issues by making companies choose between being blacklisted by state pension funds and making ethical business decisions based on human rights concerns.

-It was through strong collective action to address human rights issues, through boycotts and otherwise, that the civil rights and anti-apartheid struggles were successful in effecting change. Don’t make it state policy to condemn this form of protected speech and association!

Call your Illinois Representative and Senator NOW and urge them to oppose HB4011 and SB1761.

If you don’t know what District you are in, use this address lookup here.

You can find your Representative’s phone number here.

You can find your Senator’s phone number here.

Boycotts of businesses that are based in Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian territory, or that profit from Israeli human rights violations are a means of protesting Israel’s occupation and human rights violations against Palestinians.  Such boycotts have wide political support in the US and internationally, including by Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) in Israel and Americans for Peace Now in the US [1], Jewish Voice for Peace [2], the Presbyterian Church [3], and United Methodist Church [4] in the US.

Urge your Representative and Senator in the Illinois legislature to oppose HB4011 and SB1761 by calling them now.

Thank you for taking action!

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 The Center for Constitutional Rights, CAIR-ChicagoJewish Voice for Peace-ChicagoPalestine Solidarity Legal Support,  Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and PalestineArab-Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle EastFriends of Sabeel: North AmericaUnited States Palestinian Community Network, Just Foreign PolicyAmerican Muslims for Palestine, Chicago Area Code Pink, and Muslim American Society Public Affairs and Civic Engagement – Chicago.