CAIR opposes Florida bill it says targets human rights defenders

Laila Abdelaziz

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A bill in the Florida Legislature would sanction groups that organize boycotts of or divestment from Israel or from companies that contribute to alleged human rights abuses in Israel and Palestine. But HB 527 isopposed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. Our guest on MidPoint, Laila Abdelaziz, is legislative and government affairs director at CAIR-Florida. 

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Abdelaziz spoke out against that bill during public comment in January.

Last month the University of South Florida student government Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution to pull the university’s investments from companies involved in human rights violations against Palestinians. Even before the SG President vetoed the resolution, USF administration promised to to reject the students once again on this issue. Opponents of the USF student government bill said they were concerned about the Tallahassee bill.

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Fracking Florida

Also on MidPoint we talked about the fracking bill passed by the State House in January. It would regulate hydraulic fracturing in Florida and stop local governments from banning the drilling practice. Our guest was Michelle Allen, the Florida organizer with Food & Water Watch. She is helping to organize an anti-fracking rally Monday in Brandon.

The bill passed the House 73-45, mostly along party lines. Supporters of the bill, like Tampa Republican Shawn Harrison, say the state could benefit from the economics of fossil fuel drilling and energy independence.