The first days of the Trump administration have been as dire as anyone could have imagined – with Executive Orders attacking Muslims, Arabs, immigrants, and refugees expected today on top of attacks on women and indigenous people.
State Senator Creem of Newton and Representative Paul McMurtry of Dedham have filed a legislation that would attack free speech and nonviolent protest – the exact last thing we need in the Trump era. Creem and McMurtry’s bills, SD.922 and HD.779, are framed as anti-discrimination legislation. But in reality they would penalize supporters of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice, as well as other social movements that employ time-honored tactics of nonviolent economic pressure.
This isn’t just about our state house. This is not just a formality or an isolated attack. It’s not even just about Palestine.
This bill is a piece of a coordinated right-wing attack on our right to organize for justice, period. As Trump and Republican lawmakers attempt to criminalize dissent in Washington, we will not allow free speech suppression in Massachusetts. With so many people taking to the streets right now fighting for justice, equity, and democracy, it’s more important than ever to resist any and all attacks on our movements.
Our resistance must continue nationally and locally. That’s why we and the Massachusetts Freedom to Boycott Coalition are standing up to defend our right to boycott in Massachusetts. Join us Monday, Jan.30, at 11:30 am in State House room 350 for a citizen’s lobby day. We’ll explain the anti-boycott legislation and why it’s such bad policy, and fan out to deliver information in person to each legislator.
In June and July, when Senator Creem and Rep. McMurtry tried to slip anti-boycott amendments into the Economic Development Bill, we mobilized so quickly that they withdrew their amendment on the very same day
Our coalition can stop it again. But only with your support. Email and phone your legislators now and ask that they oppose the bill.
Nearly 100 Massachusetts organizations have signed a statement opposing any legislation that impedes the right to boycott. That includes groups representing Muslims, Christians, Jews, American Indians, students, professors, labor unions, lawyers, and LGBTQ communities; as well as advocates on human rights, peace and justice, anti-racism, housing, criminal justice reform, corporate accountability, civil liberties, and climate change. Jewish Voice for Peace, the Boston Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine, and Massachusetts Peace Action are working together as a team on this anti-boycott legislation.
After you’ve emailed and called your legislators, please spread the word. We need to act fast.