We wrote a while ago to tell your that the Assembly has a bill, to go to the floor very soon, that will harm everything we have tried to do to bring peace to areas of conflict.
AB 2844 will punish any company that works with us to end human rights and other injustices where we ask them to boycott an offending nation. The state would put together a list of companies that boycott any nation - ANY ONE - in the service of justice and at our request.
As we noted, this would have abolished our most effective tool in ending apartheid in South Africa. Denominations are looking now to use this successful, non-violent strategy in many areas including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in halting the "death to gays' laws in Africa, and in bringing acknowledgement of Armenian genocide by the historic perpetrator, Turkey.
Agree or disagree with any specific issue, the strategy is designed to avert violence, to bring people to the negotiating table, to prevent further harm.
If AB 2844 passes, companies such as General Motors that honored the request to boycott South Africa would be stripped of their ablity to get contracts within California. This is a harm to them, but it's a far greater harm to us. It removes a key tool we have used successfully to bring people to talk instead of fight and kill.
Please write or call your Assembly Member TODAY to tell him or her not to pass this bill! Go to this link
to contact your Assembly Member and oppose AB 2844
Here is our Floor Alert on AB 2844:
California Church IMPACT strongly opposes AB 2844 as a threat to our right to speak out against injustices using the tools of non-violent economic boycotts.
Such strategies were how people of moral compassion were able to end the scourge of apartheid in South Africa. By encouraging corporations such as General Motors to refuse to do business in that country, we obtained first the "Sullivan Accords" that set racial justice standards for all places where GM did business coupled with the threat of total withdrawal from that nation were there to be non-compliance. This massive economic crack in the wall of racial injustice brought about the changes in South Africa that wee desperately needed.
Enduring struggles against "death to gays" laws in Africa and elsewhere, efforts to hold nations accountable for past genocidal actions, and other efforts to insist on human rights have all been tied to advocacy for companies doing business in those nations to cease such businesses until rights are implemented or restored.
We in the Protestant faith community uphold our common bonds with our brothers and sisters in the Abrahamic traditions. A wise Rabbi once told an interfaith assembly of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim women that these historic ties must never be lost within the struggles over land. It is for that reason many of our member denominations work to use economic tools rather than accept the perpetuation of violence to bring about talks and engagements leading to peace.
AB 2844 would penalize companies like General Motors for doing what we asked of them regardless of where. We in the faith community do not limit our concerns to those nations designated by our federal government as "enemies". It is to prevent the creation of more enemies that we seek economic boycotts as a useful strategy, and this bill not only ties our hands but punishes any company that heeds our call. That is simply a massive breech of our Constitutional rights and theirs, and it must not pass.
CCI is 1.5 million strong with our denominations including a full 6.5 million citizens of California. This is an assault on all of us. That is unacceptable to us as citizens and voters in California. Please vote NO on AB 2844.
This is an important issue for all our social justice work into the future. We need your voice to oppose AB 2844 and we need it today!