Legal action in Olympia Food Co-op boycott of Israeli Goods - The Olympian
Lawyers have moved to strike a lawsuit that alleges the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli goods was unfair and violated the co-op’s rules and bylaws.
A motion filed by attorneys with Davis Wright Tremaine in Seattle and by attorneys with the Center for Constitutional Rights asserts that the lawsuit is a “Strategic Lawsuit Against Pubic Participation.” So-called SLAPP lawsuits are illegal under Washington statute.
“We hope the court will strike down this effort to silence the co-op’s principled stand on Israel’s human rights violations,” said Maria LaHood, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, in a news release. “Allegations that the co-op’s board acted beyond its power are a thinly veiled attempt to stop concerned citizens from using a nonviolent and historical tool for social change.”
The lawsuit, filed in September, is aimed at nullifying the co-op’s July 2010 boycott of Israeli goods and ordering “the OFC board to follow OFC’s governing rules, procedures and principles in the future,” according to the suit.
Robert Sulkin, one of the attorneys who filed the suit, said Wednesday it is “absolutely, positively not” a SLAPP suit. A hearing on the motion to strike the lawsuit is tentatively set for Jan. 13 before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Paula Casey.