AFFIRM the first amendment right to boycott, divest, and sanction

Right to Boycott


Activists in Maryland protesting Rep. John Delaney's support of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.



Boycotts are a tried-and-true tactic, in the US and internationally, to achieve social change. But Israel and its supporters are pushing for local and federal legislation to punish and even criminalize our right to boycott for Palestinian rights.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court has specifically held that political boycotts, like boycotts for Palestinian rights, are unquestionably protected under the First Amendment. But that isn't stopping organizations that oppose Palestinian rights from working with local, state, and federal lawmakers in heavy-handed, McCarthyite attempts to shut down supporters of freedom, justice, and equality.


  • Pass a local government/county/state resolution reaffirming that engaging in boycotts are a protected First Amendment right and that boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns should be commended for advancing Palestinian rights. 

Success Stories

MASSACHUSETTS freedom to boycott

In the face of anti-BDS legislation that was plowing forward with bipartisan support, a powerful of coalition JVP Boston, Massachusetts Peace Action, and the Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine worked together to reverse the political tides, and the right to boycott won the political day. The activists then created a comprehensive manual so that other activists could multiply our collective victories for the right to boycott for freedom, justice, and equality for Palestinians.

MISSOURI FILIBUSTERS freedom to boycott

In a significant legislative upset, a coalition of human rights activists and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri took on an anti-BDS bill being pushed by the governor, Senate majority floor leader, and Speaker of the House in an overwhelmingly conservative state legislature – and won. Widely expected to pass, the bill stalled when a senator committed to civil liberties filibustered in a creative way: he added an amendment adding every country in the world to the bill to ensure Israel was not singled out for special treatment, describing in detail each country’s exports and troubling policies in alphabetical order until he was cut off hours later at the Bahamas and the bill was withdrawn. The victory for the #RightToBoycott Israel in Missouri illustrated the winning power of grassroots lobbying, even in the face of big money and political influence. More here.