Last month, we let you know about an anti-boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) bill in the Texas state Senate, SB29, that seeks to punish companies that support the non-violent, Palestinian-led campaign for BDS. Unfortunately this bill passed the Senate, and its companion in the House, HB 89, is having a hearing in the House State Affairs Committee tomorrrow, Wednesday, March 22.
This bill would require Texas to create a blacklist of companies that support BDS and would prohibit Texas retirement funds and the University of Texas investment management company from investing in those companies. It would also prohibit Texas from entering into contracts with them, too. This is an incredibly dangerous bill, so make sure to write and call your state Representatives now in the House State Affairs Committee and tell them to vote NO on HB89.
In addition to this bill’s free-speech-squashing language, it also contains language in it that seeks to legitimize illegal Israeli settlements. This McCarthyite bill is undemocratic and unconstitutional and seeks to punish those who take a stand in support of Palestinian human rights.
We know that the Supreme Court has held that boycotts are a protected form of political speech, and they have long been used to achieve important social and political change, from the Montgomery bus boycotts during the Civil Rights Movement to the boycott to end apartheid in South Africa. We cannot let these lawmakers legislate away our #RightToBoycott! Thank you for taking action!