Monthly Archives: February 2013

2013.02.04: Brooklyn College SJP to Hold Press Conference in Support of Brooklyn College’s Continued Support for Academic Freedom and Expression on Campus

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2013

CONTACT: Sundus Seif – brooklyncollegesjp@gmail.com

Brooklyn College SJP to Hold Press Conference in Support of Brooklyn College’s Continued Support for Academic Freedom and Expression on Campus

DATE: Tuesday, February 5th, 2013, at 1 PM ET
LOCATION: In front of Brooklyn College school gates (Bedford Ave between Campus Rd and Avenue I, Brooklyn, NY)

On Tuesday afternoon at 1 PM ET, members and supporters of the Brooklyn College chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will hold a press conference to address the escalating attacks led by city and state politicians and lawyer Alan Dershowitz against the Brooklyn College administration following the political science department’s co-sponsorship of an upcoming event organized by SJP. The event, which takes place this Thursday, will feature renowned philosopher Judith Butler and Palestinian human rights activist Omar Barghouti, who will discuss the growing global movement to use Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to pressure Israel into abiding by international law and respecting Palestinian human rights.

Initially, critics called for the Brooklyn College political science department to rescind its co-sponsorship. Now, Assistant Majority Leader of the NYC Council Lewis Fidler and several other members of the City Council are threatening to pull Brooklyn College’s funding unless the administration cancels or removes its support for Tuesday’s event. In a recent letter, Brooklyn College President Karen Gould confirmed that the event will go forward as planned, emphasizing the school’s commitment to the principles of academic freedom.

The controversy has garnered international attention, and just today internationally acclaimed musician and human rights advocate Roger Waters, formerly of Pink Floyd, released a statement in support of SJP Brooklyn College’s efforts to educate the public about BDS and Israel’s abuses of Palestinian rights. Mr. Waters’ statement read in part, “You man the barricades of intellectual and political freedom. That you have come under attack from powerful political and media forces for trying to shed light on the predicament of the good peoples of Palestine and Israel is wrong. I stand with you.”

Please join Students for Justice in Palestine along with supporters, faculty member and allied organizations tomorrow, February 5, at 1 PM ET, for our press conference.

Scheduled speakers:

Sarah Aly and Rabia Tarar – Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine
Kristofer Petersen-Overton – Professor of Political Science at Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
Representatives of Jewish Voice for Peace

Supporters who will be present and available for press interviews:

Coalition of CUNY Faculty members
Michael Letwin – Former President, Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325; Jews for Palestinian Right of Return; Labor for Palestine; US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Linda Sarsour – Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York
Fatin Jarara – Al Awda The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Moustafa Bayoumi – Professor of English at Brooklyn College
Cyrus McGoldrick – Human Rights Activist and Former Civil Rights Manager at Council on American-Islamic Relations – New York Chapter
Lamis Deek – Attorney and Human Rights Advocate
Rosalind Petchesky – Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
Carlos Guzman – Brooklyn and Hunter SJP
Leena Widdi – John Jay SJP
Julieta Salgado – A Free Society and New York Students Rising
Charlie Kerr – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Association at Brooklyn College
Naomi Allen – Brooklyn for Peace
Description: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif

For more information, visit SJP Brooklyn College’s website at http://www.brooklynsjp.com or email us at brooklyncollegesjp@gmail.com.

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2013.02.04: Ways you can help Brooklyn College Student for Justice in Palestine

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*please forward widely*

Ways you can help Brooklyn College Student for Justice in Palestine

Dear allies and friends,
 
By now many of you have seen and heard about the latest attack on Brooklyn College. After the political science department cosponsored an event organized by our SJP to host Omar Barghouti and Judith Butler to discuss the BDS movement, Alan Dershowitz has launched a smear campaign. 
 
At first, the demand from Dershowitz and a handful of city politicians was for the Brooklyn College political science department to rescind their cosponsorship (Glenn Greenwald wrote a comprehensive article, highlighting Dershowitz’s double standard). Now, Lewis Fidler, Assistant Majority Leader of the NYC Council, and several other members of the City Council are threatening to pull Brooklyn College’s funding unless the school administration is cancelled or condemned. 
 
Please join us in showing support for our school administration, and encouraging them to continue to support academic freedom and expression on campus. Below you can find the contact details of school admins and sample letters to send, and a statement individuals and groups can sign on to.
 
We appreciate you continued support. We will be having a press conference on Tuesday and we encourage you to stay in the loop by visiting www.brooklynsjp.com
 
In solidarity,
Brooklyn College  Students for Justice in Palestine
 
WAYS YOU CAN HELP
 
TWITTER USING HASHTAG –  #sjpfree2bds
CALL THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS:
 
President Karen Gould
(718.951.5671
Provost William Tramontano
718.951.5864
Director of Communications and Public Relations Jeremy Thompson
718.951.5882
Political Science Dept chairperson Paisley Currah
718.951.5306
SIGN THE LETTER OF SUPPORT
 
EMAIL THE LETTER BELOW TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE
President Karen Gould
(718.951.5671
klgould@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Provost William Tramontano
718.951.5864
tramontano@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Director of Communications and Public Relations Jeremy Thompson
718.951.5882
JeremyThompson@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Political Science Dept chairperson Paisley Currah
718.951.5306
pcurrah@brooklyn.cuny.edu
 

LETTER

To whom it may concern,


My name is ____________________. I am emailing you to express my support for the event on BDS with Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti organized by Brooklyn College Students for Justice in Palestine.

As the most multi-cultural borough in the city of New York, Brooklyn prides itself in its diversity and understanding of different cultures and its ability to connect different struggles and bring people together under one roof.

Brooklyn College is a public institution of higher education that is known for its excellence in academic freedom and learning. As we all know, human rights and equality for all is something that should matter to everyone regardless of religion, ethnicity or political affiliation. 
 
As a student/faculty/staff of Brooklyn College, it is imperative that my school upholds the right to academic freedom as IT IS part of the First Amendment rights enshrined in the United States Constitution.

Academic freedom is a component of freedom of speech which is part of the Bill or Rights in our Constitution. The Supreme Court made it evident with the decision made in the case of Keyishian v. Board of Regents (1967) where they stated: “Our Nation is deeply committed to safeguarding academic freedom, which is of transcendent value to all of us and not merely to the teachers concerned. That freedom is therefore a special concern of the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom. The vigilant protection of constitutional freedoms is nowhere more vital than in the community of American schools.”

In addition, the Court has drawn a clear link between the importance of academic freedom and the health of our modern liberal democracy. In Sweezy v. New Hampshire (1957), the Court observed: The essentiality of freedom in the community of American universities is almost self-evident… Teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate, to gain new maturity and understanding; otherwise our civilization will stagnate and die.”

As a student/faculty/staff of Brooklyn College I stand behind the decision made by the Political Science Department to co-sponsor/endorse the BDS event being organized by Students for Justice in Palestine and other New York based community groups on February 7th.

This event will educate people on why the Israeli-Palestinian issue is a global issue and why so many individuals from all backgrounds support the non-violent BDS campaign to pressure Israel to comply with international and humanitarian law.
Sincerely
your name

MESSAGE FOR WHEN YOU CALL

My name is ____________________. I am calling to express my support for the BDS event with Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti organized by Students for Justice in Palestine.

I stand behind the decision made by the Political Science Department to co-sponsor/endorse the BDS event being organized by Students for Justice in Palestine on February 7th

As a student at Brooklyn College, it is fundamental that my school upholds the right to academic freedom as IT IS part of the First Amendment rights of the US Constitution.
 

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters’ statement of support

2013.02.01: Jews for Palestinian Right of Return Stands With Brooklyn College BDS Event

JFPROR tinyurl

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return Stands With Brooklyn College BDS Event
February 1, 2013

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return commends Brooklyn College for standing up against attempts to silence “BDS (Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions) against Israel,” a lecture by Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, presented by Students for Justice in Palestine on February 7.

Far from preaching “hate” or “anti-Semitism,” as those trying to suppress this event have falsely claimed, BDS resembles the heroic Montgomery bus boycott and South African anti-apartheid divestment campaign.

For this reason, a rapidly growing number of people around the world — many of them Jews — have endorsed BDS in order to achieve:

(1) Ending Israeli occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Apartheid Wall;

(2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and

(3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

In presenting this BDS event, Brooklyn College does a great service to both academic freedom and the battle for human rights.