#RightToBoycott

Say no to the 'anti-BDS Bill' which would prevent public bodies from practising BDS

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Sign the petition now: Protect the right of public bodies to make ethical choices through BDS.

In the Queen’s Speech of Tuesday 10th May 2022, an “anti-BDS Bill” for public bodies was mentioned. This is extremely concerning. In a free society, public bodies must retain the right to make ethical choices.

In the case of Palestine, boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is a peaceful movement calling on Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. Recently, we have seen the power of BDS with Russia’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

This threat to public bodies’ right to practise BDS is a worrying step towards criminalising BDS for individuals too. The right of public bodies to boycott, divest from and sanction those who abuse human rights and fail to comply with international law must be upheld.  We, the undersigned, call on the government to scrap its “anti-BDS Bill”.

We affirm our commitment to protecting the right of public bodies to make ethical choices through BDS.

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Say no to the 'anti-BDS Bill' which would prevent public bodies from practising BDS

Is BDS illegal now? 

No. As an individual you can still boycott, divest from and sanction the businesses and governments complicit in the occupation of Palestine, like Coca-Cola and HP.

The Queen’s Speech on Tuesday 10th May was about the right of public bodies (e.g. councils) to practise BDS.

However, it’s really important that we stand up for public bodies’ right to practise BDS. Otherwise, we might find that in the future it becomes illegal for individuals to practise BDS too.

So what happened in the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday 10th May? 

The Queen’s Speech is where the government sets out its plans for the year ahead.

Prince Charles said that the government wants to introduce laws “prevent[ing] public bodies engaging in boycotts that undermine community cohesion”.

This means that the government want to make it illegal for public bodies to boycott, divest and sanction. The government would do this through an “anti-BDS Bill”.

Why should you sign the petition?

Putting pressure on the government and challenging them is a way to change the course. History has shown us this. The announcement could be a step to criminalise BDS as a whole. If we don’t push to prevent the new laws now, it could eventually affect our individual right. It is therefore important we make a stand and show we do not agree with this legislation by signing the petition in the action tab above.

We intend to hand this petition to Downing street in four weeks.

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FAQ

What is BDS?

BDS is when you boycott, divest from and sanction the businesses and governments involved in something you morally disagree with.

When it comes to Palestine, it is about boycotting, divesting from and sanctioning the business and governments involved in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine.

Boycotting = the decision not to use or buy something

Divestment = the withdrawal of investment

Sanctions = political and economic penalties