Centre for Research on Globalisation
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Defend Academic Freedom 



Academic Freedom Now at  http://www.academicfreedomnow.org/

Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca,  13 December 2001

To fellow teachers and staff members:

In the crisis precipitated by the terrible events of September 11, members of academic communities across the U.S. have participated in teach-ins, colloquia, demonstrations, and other events aimed at developing an informed critical understanding of what happened and why. Now that the U.S. is waging war in Afghanistan, such activities are continuing.

Unfortunately, some of those who have been critical of U.S. policy have been threatened and attacked for speaking out. Trustees of the City University of New York voted to condemn faculty members who criticized U.S. foreign policy at a forum in October. The president of the University of Texas at Austin publicly denounced a prominent faculty critic of U.S. policy. Efforts by pro-war students, alumni, and prominent media outlets to silence criticism and dissent have been reported at the University of New Mexico, Brown University, MIT, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and elsewhere.

Some faculty members have been suspended or threatened with suspension, others have received death threats or have been physically threatened. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, founded by Lynne Cheney (wife of U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney), has issued a report listing faculty members it considers insufficiently patriotic.

Attacks on faculty who have questioned or dissented from the Bush administration's current war policy have coincided with other ominous developments. Colleges and universities are being pressured by agencies of the federal government to hand over confidential information from student files. And there are moves in Congress to limit visas for students from abroad.

We call on all members of the academic community to speak out strongly in defense of academic freedom and civil liberties, not just as an abstract principle but as a practical necessity. At a moment such as this, we must make sure that all informed voices—especially those that are critical and dissenting—are heard.

For further details and to Sign the Letter go to  http://www.academicfreedomnow.org/

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