“The huge response to this petition reflects widespread alarm across whole swathes of progressive civil society that the anti-boycott bill represents a major attack on freedom of expression.”Ben Jamal, Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
By the Palestine Solidarity Campaign
A delegation led by PSC and representing more than 70 civil society groups has today visited Downing Street to hand in a petition signed by thousands of people opposed to the government’s anti-boycott bill.
The bill is about to enter its Committee stage in Parliament, having passed its second reading in the Commons but facing widespread, cross-party criticism. The Scottish government has formally announced its opposition to the bill and pressure is growing on the Welsh government to do the same.
The delegation to Downing Street comprised PSC Director, Ben Jamal, Director of War on Want, Asad Rehman, Clare Baker from Unite the Union, and Grace Da Costa from Quakers in Britain.
A coalition of more than 70 civil society organisations – including trade unions, charities, NGOs, faith, climate justice, human rights, and solidarity groups – have stated that the bill will stifle a wide range of campaigns for justice, erode local democracy, and present a threat to freedom of expression.
Ben Jamal, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK (PSC), has said:
“The huge response to this petition reflects widespread alarm across whole swathes of progressive civil society that the anti-boycott bill represents a major attack on freedom of expression. Opposition to this bill is growing because it threatens, not just the ability of public bodies to take part in boycott and divestment campaigns in support of Palestinian rights, but all those who seek change through peaceful and democratic means.”
Grace Da Costa, Quakers in Britain, has said:
“Quakers have a long history of nonviolent action against global injustices. Boycotts and divestments are key tools in the campaign for equality, peace and sustainability. The government must withdraw this bill to protect human rights in the UK and around the world.”
- This article was originally published as a press release by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on August 31st, 2023.
- Full Right to Boycott statement and list of signatories can be viewed here.
- PSC’s briefing on the anti-boycott bill can be read here.
- You can support the Palestine Solidarity campaign here; and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.