In an increasingly hostile and violent political environment, with attacks on our civil liberties and human rights coming from the top levels of our government, you would hope that Texas would be legislating to protect us and our political speech, right? Unfortunately, that’s not happening.
Texas is currently considering a bill, S.B.134, that seeks to punish companies that support the non-violent, Palestinian-led campaign for boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. 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 Senators now in the Senate Business and Commerce Committee and tell them to vote NO on S.B.134.
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!