Right to Boycott

January 7, 2016
Maryland State House

Say No To Unconstitutional, Anti-Free Speech Legislation in Maryland

Maryland may be the free state, but for the second time in three years the Maryland General Assembly may consider legislation to kill free speech rights for those who take a dissenting view on the Middle East. We have learned that several legislators are planning to introduce a bill that will deny state contracts to individuals or businesses engaged in boycotts aimed at Israel to protest human rights violations.
December 15, 2015
The Constitution of the United States of America

On Bill of Rights Day: Fulfill the Promise

In 1941, acting at the request of Congress, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued a proclamation that December 15 would be known as Bill of Rights Day. When doing so he described the Bill of Rights as “the great American charter
November 19, 2015
MCCRC Members at Boycott Meeting

MCCRC supports “Freedom2Boycott” campaign at Maryland legislative priorities hearing

Maryland partners Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition (MCCRC) urged legislators to keep Maryland’s hands off the “BDS” (boycott, divestment, sanction) movement against Israeli policies — and protect all nonviolent boycott movements like it.
September 30, 2015
Palestine Legal Report Cover

The Palestine Exception to the First Amendment

On September 27, 2015, Cheryl Davila addressed the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation’s Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. After receiving a standing ovation, she told those gathered that she “had faced backlash and was proud of it.” Davila affirmed
July 28, 2015

To Be a Domestic Terrorist, Hug an Animal

Was the shooter at the Louisiana movie theatre a domestic terrorist?  What about the man who killed four marines and a sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee?  While the debate about the motives of the people responsible for these heinous acts continue,
July 9, 2015

California students resist authorities’ attempt to conflate criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism

The University of California (UC) Board of Regents, the governing body that oversees 10 campuses and approximately a quarter of a million students, is considering adopting the State Department definition of anti-Semitism, which conflates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. A
June 20, 2015
conference attendees gather around sign "United Against Racism & Islamophobia"

Raleigh Challenges Racism & Islamophobia

Racism comes in all forms and in the United States’ history, every minority group has been subjected to it. Today, Islamophobia finds itself as one of the main manifestations of racism in this country, and the Bill of Rights Defense
March 2, 2015

Free Speech As A Barrier to Trade? The Latest Anti-BDS Scheme

"At heart, the neoliberal project is fundamentally about limiting democracy. For decades now, global-justice activists have lamented the way in which unelected international financial institutions have eroded the popular will, undoing labor, environmental, and safety regulations. In Europe, we are witnessing the confrontation between mass movements and democratically elected governments and centralized financial powers that seek to impose crippling austerity measures, privatize key public assets, and dismantle important social programs. It should therefore come as no surprise that those who are opposed to Palestinian human rights and seek to repress the growing BDS movement, which aims for the full realization of fundamental human rights protected by international law, have strategically decided to cloak themselves in the language of neoliberalism, unrestrained trade and commerce, and economic rationalism."
February 19, 2015
White and Brown European Mink in green grass

Animal Rights Activists Fight Terrorism Charge

Two animal rights activists were in court today to ask a federal judge to dismiss terrorism charges against them. Kevin Johnson and Tyler Lang are alleged to have freed thousands of animals from Midwestern fur farms. The activists were indicted
February 16, 2015
Rasmea Odeh

Court denies motions from Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh

Chicago’s 67-year-old Palestinian community leader, Rasmea Odeh, is set to appear in a Detroit federal court for sentencing on March 12, following her conviction on a single charge of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization.  Three days ago, Judge Gershwin Drain issued
December 29, 2014

Congress Under Pressure to Defund University Middle East Programs

Less than a year after a small number of pro-Israel groups attempted to convince state legislatures and Congress to pass legislation punishing academic associations who took political positions critical of Israel’s human-rights abuses of the Palestinian people, many of the
November 1, 2014

Does Crying Terrorism Trump Free Speech?

With its refusal to hear Mehanna's appeal, the Supreme Court is helping to cement a reactionary reinterpretation of the First Amendment that dramatically curtails freedom of speech and gives the government yet another weapon with which to persecute Muslims and intimidate those whose political views it deems unacceptable.
September 1, 2014

Victim of McCarthy-Era Witch Hunt calls on U-Illinois not to Fire Critic of Israeli Policies

"I write from a rich experience of attacks on academic freedom; I have seen the damage that enforcing conformity can do to intellectual life. Among the victims was myself. My expulsion from American academe in 1954 has been thoroughly refuted by history, so that I speak not with the bitterness of any unresolved grievance, but with the immediacy that personal memory gives."
April 2, 2014

Archbishop Tutu Statement On US Efforts to Curb Freedom of Speech

Statement from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on 2 April 2014 US efforts to curb freedom of speech on Israel and Palestine are of grave concern  I am writing today to express grave concern about a wave of legislative measures in the
February 14, 2014

Anti-Boycott Bills Proliferate

Updated 4/7/2014   UPDATE:  The Defending Dissent Foundation joined with the Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild to fight anti-boycott measures in several state legislatures. As we reported earlier this year, the American Studies Association (ASA) passed