(Miami, FL, 2/12/2018) - The Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is urging all those who value the First Amendment to join CAIR-Florida, Jewish Voice for Peace, Dream Defenders, and many other community organizations who are part of the Florida Palestine Solidarity Coalition in signing a petition to stop Florida legislators from canceling international pop-star Lorde's scheduled performances in Tampa and Miami on April 12th.
On April 11th and 12th, Lorde is scheduled to perform first in Tampa and then Miami. Due to 2016
Florida anti-BDS legislation (SB 86), the state is prohibited from engaging with contractors who conduct at least 1 million dollars of business and are participating in the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement (BDS) against the state of Israel. This year, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (SB 780) was introduced at a time when Palestinian human rights activists in the United States and elsewhere have embraced boycotts as a strong, peaceful and effective tool to pressure the Israeli government to respect the human rights of Palestinians and to influence the American public to join in doing the same.
Under this legislation, Representative Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is urging the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority as well as the Tampa Sports Authority to cancel Lorde's upcoming events in the respective cities. This act is completely unconstitutional and violates the freedom of speech rights of the artist, as well as any other potential contractors, to participate in the peaceful BDS movement against Israel.
CAIR-Florida strongly believes that cancelling Lorde's performances would violate the constitutionally-guaranteed free speech rights of business owners and individuals who participate in the international boycott of Israel's illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. Boycotts such as the Montgomery Bus boycott against segregation or the boycott of companies enabling South African Apartheid have been employed successfully in support of civil and human rights and as an integral part of our political process.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION HERE: Do not cancel Lorde's Florida concerts because of anti-free speech laws!
"As the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (SB 780) moves forward in our state legislature, we are unfortunately already experiencing what we had been anticipating: an infringement of our constitutionally protected freedom of speech rights. The repercussion of last year's anti-BDS bill that unconstitutionally blocks state or local governments from conducting business exceeding $1 million with any organization engaged in a boycott of Israel. Lorde, an artist who has chosen to bravely use her platform to boycott what she believes to be an injustice to the Palestinian people, has become our ally in the fight for justice and the protection of the civil liberties of all Florida residents." said Rasha Mubarak, CAIR-Florida's Central Florida Regional Director.
CAIR-Florida is the state's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties of all people, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR-Florida es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CAIR-Florida's Communications Director, Wilfredo A. Ruiz, wRuiz@cair.com, 305.502.6749
CAIR-Florida's Orlando Regional Director, Rasha Mubarak, rMubarak@cair.com, 407.490.9407