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Palestine Solidarity Campaign hails huge win for BDS campaigners – anti-boycott bill defeated

PSC is delighted to announce that the government’s toxic anti-boycott bill has been defeated. This repressive piece of planned legislation was a major attack on democratic rights. It threatened to erode local democracy, restrict freedom of expression, and undermine campaigns for social and climate justice. It would have prevented public bodies – such as local councils, universities, and public-sector pension funds – from making ethical choices about spending and investment. The government’s stated goal was to shut down campaigns against Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. 

With the end of the present parliament, in advance of the general election, the anti-boycott bill will now not become law. 

The government did not simply run out of time: it failed to get this draconian legislation through in the face of fierce opposition from all sides of the House of Commons and House of Lords. This hostility reflected the enormous pressure that was brought to bear on politicians.  

PSC was proud to convene and lead a broad coalition of more than 70 civil society organisations, made up of trade unions, charities, NGOs, faith, climate justice, human rights, and solidarity groups, in opposition to the bill.  

We would like to thank every organisation that signed the Right to Boycott statement and played an active part in our campaign; our friends in both Houses of Parliament who stood up with us for human rights and democratic principles; members of the Scottish Parliament, the Senedd in Wales, local councillors across Britain, and the Trades Union Congress, all of whom joined us in opposition to this anti-democratic measure.  

We thank every single activist and member of the public who signed our petition, lobbied, or wrote to their MP, passed motions in their political party or trade union branch, and protested in the streets. This victory is thanks to all of you.  

The defeat of the anti-boycott bill, which sought to shield Israel from democratic criticism over human rights abuses and violations of international law, is a major win for BDS campaigners. There is huge and growing pressure for public bodies, universities, and other institutions to cut financial ties with those who are complicit in Israel’s war crimes, genocidal violence, and other crimes against humanity. In conjunction with our Palestinian partners, we will now be ratcheting up our campaigning in support of these demands.  

Ahead of that, join us on 8 June when we march again in London to demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the arms trade with Israel.