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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Palestine | California | Santa Cruz Indymedia | South Bay | Government & Elections
Mark Stone Voted for Unconstitutional, Anti-BDS Law AB 2844
On June 6, South Bay Jewish Voice for Peace sent out a letter asking supporters to contact Assembly Members Evan Low, Nora Campos, and Mark Stone, to convey disappointment that they voted in favor of the anti-BDS law AB 2844.
June 6, 2015
Dear Friends of South Bay Jewish Voice for Peace,
This past Friday, June 3rd, California assembly members voted 64 - 0 to pass AB 2844, the newly renamed "Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions of Recognized Sovereign Nations or Peoples Act", which would mandate the Attorney General of California to create and post blacklists of all companies that "engage in discriminatory business practices in furtherance of a boycott" against any sovereign country recognized by the United States government, as well as to mandate that the AG investigate the constitutionality of denying these companies the right to bid for government contracts. The good news is that the statewide efforts against the original "California Combating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel Act of 2016" forced numerous amendments that deleted mention of Israel and mandated the Attorney General to investigate the constitutionality of the proposed denial of state contracts with companies engaged in boycotts, rather that directly mandating that they be denied. On the negative side, the very existence of such a public backlist would undoubtedly have a chilling effect on the use of political boycotts, a time honored non-violent strategy in many struggles for justice.
In presenting the amended version of the bill, Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D), made it clear that he was unhappy with this more general, amended version of his bill, as he reaffirmed his original intent: the need to defend Israel by denying state contracts to those who boycott Israel. He further stated that he would work to have the senate version incorporate the original language that targeted boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel.
It's important that our state legislators know that we are watching their votes and care about this issue! We support civil rights, and the Supreme Court has ruled that boycotts, as a form of free speech, deserve the highest protection under the First Amendment. We support human rights, including Palestinian rights to life, home and land.
We ask that constituents of assembly members who voted to pass this anti-BDS bill, convey your disappointment to the following South Bay assembly members:
- Assemblymember Evan Low (408) 446-2810 assemblymember.low [at] assembly.ca.gov
- Assemblymember Nora Campos (408) 277-1220 assemblymember.campos [at] assembly.ca.gov
- Assemblymember Mark Stone (916) 319-2029 assemblymember.stone [at] assembly.ca.gov
Constituents of assembly members who abstained, please let these members know you appreciate the fact that they did NOT support AB 2844, and ask that they vote against any similar bills:
- Assemblymember Kansen Chu (916) 319-2025 assemblymember.chu [at] assembly.ca.gov
- Assemblymember Richard Gordon (650) 691-2121 assemblymember.gordon [at] assembly.ca.gov
- Assemblymember Bill Quirk (916) 319-2020 assemblymember.quirk [at] assembly.ca.gov
We will keep you informed of the progress of this crucial bill, as AB 2844 will now proceed to the senate, where we will work both to prevent the extreme Israel specific anti-BDS language from being reincorporated into the bill, and to educate our senators to oppose any form of this bill on the basis of constitutionality.
Wendy Greenfield, Co-Chair
South Bay Jewish Voice for Peace