Take Action: Urge your MPP to vote “NO” on the anti-BDS Private Member’s Motion

An Anti-BDS motion will be presented in the Ontario Legislature this Thursday December 1, 2016.

The motion, presented by MPP Gila Martow, asks the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to stand firmly against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and falsely equates it to anti-Semitism and racism.

Please ask your MPP to vote “NO” on the Private Members’ Notice of Motion Number 36. We have provided a sample model letter below for you to cut-and-paste and/or to modify as you wish. It is important that MPPs hear opposition before the vote on Thursday, December 1. If you are able, please send your email tonight (November 29) or tomorrow morning (November 30).

Please also share this Call to Action to your networks as soon as possible.

See below for instructions on contacting your MPP in 5 easy steps:

Step One
Write to your MPP and ask them to vote NO to Private Member’ Notice of Motion Number 36– a short note will do. Or, you can copy/modify the model letter provided below. Make any modifications you want or use as-is. Please make sure you add your MPP’s name on the first line.

Step Two
Write in subject line: Please Vote “NO” to Private Member’ Notice of Motion Number 36.

Step Three
Find your MPP’s email address using this link
Click on the MPP’s name as highlighted on the list (sort by MPP or by riding):
Once located, click Contact Details below their picture to find/copy their email address.
Also copy Premier Kathleen Wynne’s email at premier@ontario.ca

Step Four:
Copy caia.toronto@gmail.com (so we can keep track of how many MPPs are receiving letters)

Step Five
Add your name, city, title and affiliation at the end of the letter – and press send!

Model letter

Dear MPP,

I am writing to you today to register my strong opposition to Private Member’ Notice of Motion Number 36. Ontario PC MPP Gila Martow introduced this bill.

As a constituent in your riding, I am asking that you vote “NO” on this motion on Thursday December 1. I also urge you to oppose any further action on this motion.

The motion aims to shut down the expression of solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation and violates the freedom of expression protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This motion is a blatant attack on freedom of expression and democratic rights, and a further attempt to silence any critique of Israel’s violations of international law.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement was initiated in 2005 by an overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society. It is modeled after the South African anti-apartheid struggle and is based on principles on international law and human rights.

It is outrageous and deeply troubling to prohibit people from supporting BDS. I am not asking you to support BDS, I am asking you to protect my right to support BDS!

BDS is based on basic principles of anti-racism (opposing all forms of racism including anti-Semitism) and anti-oppression, and aims to end the ongoing racism and oppression against the Palestinian people. Far from addressing the racism of anti-Semitism, this motion will institutionalise racism against Palestinians, including Palestinian Canadians, and supporters of Palestinians’ rights under international law. It imposes McCarthyist measures to silence non-violent action in support of Palestinians’ human rights. The Palestinian call for BDS was modelled on the long fight against apartheid in South Africa, which over time was supported by many organizations in Ontario, including universities and colleges.

This motion is part of a coordinated campaign to shut down the increasingly successful BDS movement and silence Palestine solidarity. Earlier this year, Ontario Conservative MPP Tim Hudak and Liberal MPP Mike Colle introduced Bill 202 in an attempt to silence solidarity with Palestinians. The Bill was voted down, and our right to freedom of expression was upheld.

For all the reasons above, I urge you as my MPP to oppose this motion. Whatever your views may be on BDS, I ask you to support my right to support BDS! This motion is an attack on freedom of expression and a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.