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The New England Committee to Defend Palestine acknowledges its presence on the land of the
Support Ward Churchill !
On July 24, 2007, the Regents of the University of Colorado voted to fire Professor Churchill - for inaccurate footnotes and citation, they say, not for his politically controversial speech … Ward Churchill’s attorney David Lane filed suit against the University and the Regents on July 25, charging them with retaliatory termination in violation of Professor Churchill’s First Amendment rights.
November 19, 2008 update from Natsu Saito:
We're all excited about the prospect of change (or at least breathing a sigh of relief) with the Obama's election. But many dangerous policies and precedents have been put in place over the last 8 years, and it will take real work on our part to ensure that these don't prevail.
In that spirit, I wanted to alert you to the new website of the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network (www.wardchurchill.net), to let you know that Ward's lawsuit against the University of Colorado is scheduled for trial March 9, 2007, and to ask for your help.
Why fight this particular injustice? We're doing it because Ward has become of symbol of what academic freedom and the right to political dissent mean in this country, in these times.
If it were just about Ward's job, we'd be happy to spend our time, energy, and money on other issues. But every week we hear of professors being fired, or intimidated into changing what they teach. And students who believe everything they hear on the TV "news."
For real change to happen, the next generation will have to know how to think critically. That won't happen – regardless of who's in the White House – unless we defend the First Amendment in practice, not just in theory.
The chilling effect of CU's actions are very real. If rightwing forces don't encounter resistance to this firing, they will consider it license to constrict freedom of expression even more.
A few facts: As you probably remember, in 2007 the Regents of the University of Colorado responded to political and financial pressure by overriding the recommendations of a faculty review panel and firing Ward Churchill.
This is a classic "pretext" case in which CU has come up with claims of "research misconduct" to fire Ward for speech protected by the First Amendment. Simply put:
(1) CU never would have investigated but for Ward's "controversial" speech;
(2) CU didn't have any actual complaints, so they solicited and invented them;
(3) the evidence didn't support CU's findings; and
(4) even if the allegations were true, they aren't things tenured professors ever get fired for . . . except in politically motivated cases.
However, justice doesn't always prevail. CU has apparently endless resources to throw at this case, while Ward & I are responsible for covering all the direct costs of bringing the lawsuit – deposition transcripts, plane tickets for witnesses, expert witness fees, trial transcripts. Our terrific lawyers aren't charging for their time, but we've still got to raise about $50,000.
Please spread the word, and contribute what you can. Every $25 helps, but we hope you'll consider donating a plane ticket for a witness, or sending $125 to transcribe a deposition. It's easy – just click here: http://www.wardchurchill.net/donate.html
You can check out the new website while you're there.
With appreciation, and in solidarity,
" . . . And I thought about my brother Russell Means, in 1982, when we were engaged in a
Speech given by Russell Means in July 1980, before several thousand
Malcolm X (1925 - 1965), Autobiography of Malcolm X, chapter 4:
"Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the