An anti-boycott bill opposed by the Massachusetts “Freedom to Boycott” coalition was defeated today after a Massachusetts legislative committee refused to advance it. The bill would have required prospective state contractors to certify under penalty of perjury that they are in compliance with the state’s anti-discrimination laws. Though not on its face an anti-BDS bill, as the coalition stated, “a substantial public paper trail shows that its actual target was the Palestinian civil society movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). As such, it was intended to inhibit the first amendment right to free speech through boycott action, a peaceful expression of dissent.” Palestine Legal sent a letter calling on the committee with the bill to oppose it in 2017. You can read more here.
The Massachusetts “Freedom to Boycott” coalition comprises over 100 faith, legal, community and civil rights groups including Alliance for Water Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace and Massachusetts Peace Action. Click here for the coalition’s press release.