While we were able to mobilize opposition to Senate Bill 3017, its sponsor, Senator Ira Silverstein, has introduced a toxic resolution,SJR 59
, which is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, April 1 at 4 p.m
. in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Many of you have responded to previous calls for action on this and other attacks on academic freedom. To defeat this resolution, we need your help now!
We urge Illinois residents to make calls to members of the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee on the mornings of Monday, March 31st and Tuesday, April 1st, to oppose the resolution.
Here are several talking points:
I ask the Senator to vote NO on Senate Resolution SJR 59. The Illinois General Assembly should not
Call on college and university administrators to condemn the use of ALL academic boycotts - potentially limiting the ways that faculty can advocate on issues of public concern and ostracizing those that choose this
Characterize supporters of academic boycotts of Israel as anti-Semitic – without a shred of evidence and despite the fact that many supporters of the academic boycott of Israel are Jewish and see it as a legitimate tool to confront Israeli human rights violations.
2) Otherwise, call the chair and vice-chair of the committee and identify your affiliation (college or university, civil liberties, peace organization, concerned citizen etc.).
3) If you have time, call the resolution’s sponsor, Ira Silverstein, who is on the committee.
Member Ira Silverstein - 8th District - (217) 782 – 5500
(sponsor of resolution)
WE ARE ALSO ASKING YOU TO SIGN AN ONLINE WITNESS SLIP TODAY to oppose its passage in the committee and by the Illinois General Assembly. Already, supporters of Senator Silverstein are mounting their own witness slip campaign in response to the success of our past efforts. It will only take a couple of minutes – but its impact on legislators is major (directions below). IF YOU ALREADY SIGNED A WITNESS SLIP ABOUT THE BILL, THIS IS A NEW PROCESS FOR THE NEW RESOLUTION – PLEASE SIGN THIS AS WELL.
Step-by Step Instructions for Witness Slips for Submission to Illinois Legislature (ILLINOIS RESIDENTS ONLY)
1. Click on Link http://my.ilga.gov/WitnessSlip/Create/81448?committeeHearingId=11752&LegislationId=81448&CommitteeHearings-page=1&_=1396109016769
2. Identification: Enter your personal information. If you are an academic or a member of a relevant free speech, human rights, or peace organization – list your institutional affiliation.
3. Representation: If you are representing and organization – list it here.
4. Position: Click on the button next to “Opponent”
5. Testimony: Click on the box next to “Record of Appearance Only”) Filling out a witness slip does not mean you have to appear in person at the hearing - it is a mechanism that allows you to register your opposition to the resolution.
6. Type the Captcha Code in the box.
7. Click Next to “I Agree to the ILGA Terms of Agreement.
8. Click on “Create Slip.”
THANK YOU for taking action! Our organized response can help prevent this resolution from moving forward!
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 CAIR-Chicago as well as the Center for Constitutional Rights, 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, American Muslims for Palestine, UIC Graduate Employees Organization, IFT-AFT Local 6297, the National Lawyers Guild- Chicago, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, Muslim American Society-Public Action and Civic Engagement, and other individuals.