Join organizations across NY state in opposing A.9036 and stand with with civil and human rights advocates across NY state.
This legislation mandates that New York State create a blacklist of individuals and/or entities that exercise their constitutional right to utilize boycott as a form of free speech. Under these bills, those that boycott companies based in Israel or the Occupied Territories would be ineligible to contract with, or receive investment of pension funds from, the State of New York.*
The proposed legislation runs counter to the US Supreme Court decision in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., which concluded that boycotts constitute a political form of expression that “occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.”
If passed, these bills could require that New York utilize the power of the state to:
• Punish, under A.9036/S.6378-A’s broader definition of “allied nation,” those advocating for a boycott of Turkey because it uses U.S. weapons to commit human rights abuses against Kurds, or for advocating for a boycott of Colombia because it uses U.S. weapons to commit atrocities against its citizens.
• Bar United Methodist Churches from contracting with the state to run homeless shelters and soup kitchens because the church supports the boycott of Israeli settlement goods.
• Punish those advocating for a boycott of Israel because it uses U.S. weapons to inflict systemic human rights abuses against Palestinians. It would prevent New York from investing in corporations that have severed their complicity with Israel’s oppression of Palestinians in response to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.
Should such a bill become law, it would chill and deter constitutionally protected speech by intimidating people from engaging in political actions for fear of being blacklisted. One of these bills was passed in the NY State Senate the first week of the session with virtually no debate and it must be stopped now.
These measures are dangerous and unconstitutional. No legislation should restrict the rights of New Yorkers to engage in efforts to bring sanctions against a nation engaged in human rights violations.
We ask you to act in accordance with this state’s history of defending free speech and the rights of New Yorkers to engage in peaceful efforts to change policies.
We urge you to make sure none of these proposals advances any further in the New York State Legislature. We are counting on you to defend free speech and reject this new version of McCarthyism.
*The broader definition of “allied nation” in A.9036/S.6378-A specifies Israel, as well as any country that is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; any country that is a signatory of the Southeast Asia Treaty of 1954; any country, other than Venezuela, that is a signatory of the Rio Treaty of 1947; and Ireland, Japan, and The Republic of Korea.