Pro-Palestine Activists Oppose UK Government’s Anti-Boycott Legislation

British activists march in London. (Photo: FOA, Supplied)

Pro-Palestine solidarity organizations voiced opposition on Tuesday to a UK legislation that would likely target boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) efforts against Israel, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Some European organizations expressed opposition to the ‘anti-boycott’ bill in a press statement, posted on the website of the European Legal Support Center (ELSC).

The organizations “advocate for the right of public bodies to decide not to purchase or procure from, or invest in companies involved in human rights abuse, abuse of workers’ rights, destruction of our planet, or any other harmful or illegal acts” and, therefore oppose the proposed law, which intended to stop public bodies from taking such actions, the statement read.

The legislation is expected to be announced in the upcoming Queen’s Speech on May 10, a yearly address by the British monarch that sets out the government’s agenda for the next session of Parliament.

The signatories expressed their concern that the proposed legislation “would prevent public bodies from deciding not to invest in or procure from companies complicit in the violation of the rights of the Palestinian people.”

“We affirm that it is the right of public bodies to do so, and in fact a responsibility to break ties with companies contributing to abuses of rights and violations of international law in occupied Palestine and anywhere else where such acts occur,” they added.

“If passed, this law will stifle a wide range of campaigns concerned with the arms trade, climate justice, human rights, international law, and international solidarity with oppressed peoples struggling for justice. The proposed law presents a threat to freedom of expression, and the ability of public bodies and democratic institutions to spend, invest and trade ethically in line with international law and human rights.”

The organizations called on the UK government to immediately halt this bill, on opposition parties to oppose it and on civil society to mobilize in support of the right to boycott in the cause of justice.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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