We the People, of the Town of Woodstock, Ulster County, New York, are in support of a resolution protecting the First Amendment Rights of the citizens of the Town of Woodstock as it is presented here:
A Resolution to Protect First Amendment Rights
WHEREAS, free speech is enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as Article 8 of the New York State Constitution; and
WHEREAS, political free speech and advocacy are guaranteed by the First Amendment and Article 8 of the New York State Constitution; and
WHEREAS, boycotts have long been recognized as behavior constituting political free speech and advocacy; and
WHEREAS, boycotts have historically been used by citizens of the United States to protect and fight for their freedoms and the freedoms of others, nationally – as with the boycotts of slave-produced sugar in 1792 to the Montgomery bus boycott in the 1950s, and internationally – as in the boycott of South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s to the boycott of Israel in the 2000s and 2010s, boycotts have been used to give non-violent expression to political and moral disagreements with the established order; and
WHEREAS, Governor Cuomo, in violation of the civil rights of citizens of the state of New York, has signed Executive Order #157, directing state agencies and authorities to divest public funds from entities supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel; and
WHEREAS, anti-boycott legislation has been introduced into the New York State Assembly and Senate that would impose penalties on individuals, corporations, nonprofits, and anyone else receiving funding from New York State, including local governments; and
WHEREAS, Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order #157 and some of the legislation that has been introduced calls for the establishment of a public listing of all who boycott in disregard of this legislation, much like the blacklisting of suspected communists during the 1950s McCarthy era; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Woodstock, New York desires to support and protect its citizens against any and all abridgments of the civil liberties of its citizens,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town of Woodstock, New York hereby affirms that boycotts are constitutionally protected political speech, and, as such, are part of its citizens’ rights as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 8 of the New York State Constitution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Woodstock, New York stands in opposition to any executive order and/or any legislation in the New York State Assembly and Senate that seeks to limit those rights; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town of Woodstock, New York expresses its opposition by transmitting a copy of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Governor of New York State, the New York State Congressional Delegation, the New York State Legislative Delegation, and the Ulster County Legislative Delegation.
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We encourage non-Woodstock residents to sign the petition in support of our inalienable rights.