The “Freedom2Boycott” coalition is a “coalition of groups and individuals advocating for free speech rights in the State of Maryland in support of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) that promote social justice in Israel/Palestine.” It was formed by Saqib Ali (Equality for Eid), Alison Glick (Jewish Voice for Peace/DC Metro), and many others after learning of plans to introduce an anti-BDS bill in Annapolis in the coming legislative session.
Now the group has developed an legislative emailing system — “Tell Your Legislator: Oppose Maryland’s Anti-BDS Bill!” — that uses your home address to help you contact your Annapolis delegation (three delegates and a senator) with a message saying you oppose that too. An excerpt:
…Boycotts are a nonviolent tool that have been used by movements for human rights and social justice for generations. The Supreme Court has ruled that boycotts are political speech and are thus protected by the First Amendment.
Any legislation that seeks to suppress political speech or discriminates against a particular viewpoint violates the First Amendment. There is no First Amendment exception that allows the state to punish Palestinian human rights advocacy—anti-BDS legislation is unconstitutional. […]
I’m writing to request that you oppose any anti-BDS legislation and especially to make sure that you do not to co-sponsor it. Instead, please support legislation that would explicitly guarantee that the state of Maryland will not sanction any boycott movement which seeks to increase human or civil rights.
MCCRC is proud to be associated with this vital effort to defend free speech and free association in Maryland. It’s often the case that social justice movements are forced to defend even their right to speak out and organize — that happened during the abolition movement in the U.S., with the civil rights movement, and with the movement to end apartheid in South Africa, to name just a few. Freedom of speech, of petition, and of association was ultimately upheld for each of those issues, but not without a struggle; we hope you’ll join that struggle again.