Action alert

Emergency Action Needed Today as Illinois Legislature Reassigns Anti-Boycott Bill to New Committee


Emergency Action Needed Today as Illinois Legislature Reassigns Anti-Boycott Bill to New Committee

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dear Supporter,

After our vigorous call-in campaign March 4th, the Illinois Higher Education Committee postponed action on the anti-boycott bill. Last Friday, the bill was reassigned to the Judiciary Committee and the bill may be up for discussion as early as 3 p.m. today. WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW.

Illinois State Senate Bill 3017 would deny funding to public universities that support faculty members' participation in professional associations that boycott Israeli academic institutions.

It would, for example, prohibit a faculty member from getting funds to travel to an American Studies Association (ASA) meeting, even if that meeting is unrelated to the boycott, or the professor herself is opposed to the boycott. A college that defies this prohibition would lose all public funds for that academic year. This bill, which was previously assigned to the Higher Education Committee, has been re-assigned to the Judiciary Committee. A hearing of the Judiciary Committee at which the bill may be considered is scheduled for 3


Call the senators on the Judiciary Committee TODAY and state your opposition to SB 3017


Check to see if your senator is on the list below. If you do not know who your senator is, find out by clicking here. If your senator is on the list, get his or her Springfield office phone number here by clicking on his or her name.

Kwame Raoul, Committee Chairman
John G. Mulroe
William R. Haine
Don Harmon
Michael E. Hastings
Toi W. Hutchinson
Michael Noland
Ira I. Silverstein
Kirk W. Dillard
Jason A. Barickman
Darin M. LaHood
Dale A. Righter
If your senator is not on this list, then please call Committee Chairman Kwame Raoul, D-Hyde Park, at 217.782.5338.


I am calling to oppose the Judiciary Committee Amendment to Senate Bill 3017 that seeks to punish certain constitutionally protected political speech in Illinois.

This bill is unconstitutional because the Supreme Court has ruled that boycotts are protected First Amendment activities.

The State cannot deny funding to universities because certain legislators don’t like the views that faculty and staff are expressing through protected First Amendment activities like boycotts.

Legislative intrusion in academic decision-making undermines academics’ abilities to associate and exchange views with their colleagues.

It is fiscally irresponsible and unconstitutional to condition funding for the Illinois university system on the university’s censorship of academic associations’ political viewpoints.

Thank you for taking action! Our organized response can help prevent this legislation from moving forward. Let’s keep up the pressure!

The Illinois Coalition to Protect Academic Freedom and Free Speech was formed in response to anti-boycott legislation introduced in the Illinois State Senate. The Coalition includes the Center for Constitutional Rights, American Muslims for Palestine, CAIR-Chicago, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, American Studies Association, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago, Arab-Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Committee Against Political Repression, Friends of Sabeel: North America, United States Palestinian Community Network, American Friends Service Committee- Chicago, Just Foreign Policy, Defending Dissent Foundation, and other individuals.

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