On Wednesday, the Illinois Senate voted to punish companies that boycott Israel’s human rights abuses by requiring Illinois retirement funds to expend resources blacklisting, monitoring and withdrawing funds from such companies. The House adjourned today without calling its own identical the bill, so the focus will now be on the Senate bill.
Here’s the good news – the Senate Bill will now go to a House Committee for hearings before it goes to the whole House for a vote.
That means we have a couple weeks ahead of us to call our legislators, visit them in their district offices, call the committee members, submit witness slips, testify in Springfield and make our voices heard.
- Call your State Senator and tell them you disapprove of their vote on SB 1761, a vote for occupation and apartheid, and against those fighting human rights abuses with First Amendment protected boycotts. Illinois should not make companies choose between being blacklisted by state pension funds and making ethical business decisions based on human rights concerns.
- Set up a meeting with your Representatives and let them know why it’s important to ensure that human rights boycotts are not penalized.
- Stay tuned for the next alert when these bills are assigned to committees, and be ready to act again!
If you don’t know who your state congress members are, use this address lookup here: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx
You can find your Representative’s phone number here: http://www.ilga.gov/house/
You can find your Senator’s phone number here: http://www.ilga.gov/senate/
These bills, along with other anti-boycott legislation in the US Congress, are being pushed because the opposition is scared of the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions from Israel. Whether they like it or not, this conversation is happening.
The Illinois Coalition to Protect Academic Freedom and Free Speech
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-Chicago, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, Arab-Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Friends of Sabeel: North America, United States Palestinian Community Network, Just Foreign Policy, American Muslims for Palestine, Chicago Area Code Pink, and Muslim American Society Public Affairs and Civic Engagement – Chicago.