D-Day for Ward Churchill:

______________________________________

*UPDATED MOBILIZATION CALL*

July 24: Regents To Vote on Firing Churchill
Main Rally at 3:30pm ˆ CU Boulder
UMC South Plaza (Broadway at Euclid St.)

D-Day in the struggle to defend free speech and Prof.
Ward Churchill is Tuesday July 24.

On that day, the CU Regents will vote after an all-day
meeting in Boulder, most of which will be closed to
the public.  But the Regents must come out to face us
when they make their vote and explain it.  So, be
there with us at 3:30pm for our main rally.  We will
observe their vote and make our voices heard.

If you can join us for more of the day, we will hold a
small rally in the morning (7:30am, UMC South Plaza)
to show our presence and we will maintain a vigil
while the fight goes on behind closed doors.

Here are 5 reasons why you should join us on July
24th:

1)    Our enemies are watching˜this attack on Prof.
Churchill is a key rightwing “test case” for a much
broader national assault.

The easier they think it is to fire Ward
Churchill on bogus charges of research misconduct, the
more attacks we’ll see on professors, staff, and
students, on ethnic studies and women’s studies
programs, and on critical thinking.

2)    Our friends and allies across the country and
around the world are counting on us to represent
them.  In just the past month, 100’s of people have
written to urge the Regents NOT to fire Prof.
Churchill.

3)    This is your last chance to weigh in˜this is the
final step in firing Prof. Churchill.

4)    The University is counting on you not to
come˜why else schedule it during the summer?

5)    It’s never too late to do what’s right, as
Michael Meeropol, economist and son of Ethel and
Julius Rosenberg realized two weeks ago:

” I have hesitated to voice my support for
Professor Ward Churchill as his case was being
adjudicated. These charges were (I thought)
substantive and went to the heart of our profession’s
integrity relating to intellectual honesty.  I have
been moved, however, to finally raise my voice in
protest after reading the detailed analysis by
Professor Tom Mayer.  To be frank and blunt, the
charges against Professor Churchill are bogus and
represent a fig-leaf of cover for a politically
motivated firing.”

The Regents may change their plans/location at the
last minute, so, spread the word, stay tuned, and
check out last minute developments at:
http://www.wardchurchill.net, where you can also find
background and analysis.

Finally, we are students, faculty and staff at the
CU-Boulder who have been carrying on the struggle here
since the beginning.  Please respect our gameplan of
holding a strong, peaceful rally and vigil.

_____________________________________________

Defending Freedom of Speech and Ward Churchill

D-Day in the struggle to defend free speech is Tuesday
July 24.  On that day the Regents of the University of
Colorado will meet on the Boulder campus to decide
whether or not to fire Ward Churchill.  Despite a lot
of academic camouflage, Professor Churchill is in
severe danger of being fired because he is an
outspoken critic of imperialism and has developed a
radical iconoclastic interpretation of Native American
history. Churchill is an important scholar and
activist.  He has written or edited about twenty
books, and is probably the most widely read author at
the University of Colorado.  He is exactly the kind of
public intellectual that academic freedom and
constitutional safeguards for freedom of speech should
protect.

If Ward Churchill is fired, it will be an enormous
blow to dissenting scholarship of all kinds.  The
quality of higher education will also be imperiled
because teachers will become hesitant to advocate
unorthodox points of view in the classroom.  Firing
Ward Churchill will threaten diversity in higher
education at the University of Colorado and elsewhere.
The victims of racist oppression will quickly
understand that the full story of their persecution
cannot be told without dire consequences for the
narrator.

On the morning and afternoon of July 24, rallies to
defend freedom of speech and  secure justice for Ward
Churchill will be held on the Boulder campus of CU.
The morning rally from 7:30am to 9:30am coincides with
the start of the Regents meeting.  The afternoon rally
from 3:30pm to 5:30pm takes place at the conclusion of
the Regents meeting when a decision about Professor
Churchill will be announced.  We  (the faculty,
student, staff, and townspeople organizers) think that
national media will be present at the Regents meeting.
Broad participation will show support for free speech
and academic freedom.  It will also make firing Ward
Churchill more difficult and may forestall future
attacks upon academic freedom.

The exact location of the Regents meeting remains
uncertain.  We will meet at 7:30am and again at 3:30pm
in the plaza on the south side of the University
Memorial Center (corner of Euclid and Broadway in
Boulder). From there we will walk to the site of the
Regents meeting carrying signs and placards.  The two
rallies will include short talks outside the Regents
meeting, most of which is closed to the public.
Please make an effort to attend either the morning or
the afternoon demonstration (or both).  This is a
local issue which has profound national and even
international consequences.  Your presence at the
rally can make a real difference.

On behalf of the organizing committee,
Tom Mayer

______________________________________________

ACLU and ACLU of Colorado urge University of Colorado
Board of Regents
not to fire Professor Ward Churchill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2007

In an open letter to the University of Colorado Board
of Regents released today, the ACLU and the ACLU of
Colorado urged the Board to reject the recommendation
of CU President Hank Brown to terminate Professor Ward
Churchill. President Brown’s decision ran counter to
the majority of the Appeals Panel of the Privilege and
Tenure Committee, which
concluded that dismissal was not warranted.

National ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero (of
the ACLU) and Cathryn Hazouri, Executive Director of
the ACLU of Colorado noted the highly charged
political nature of the public uproar over Professor
Churchill’s essay about the terrorist attacks on
September 11, 2001. They stated that the “poisoned
atmosphere in which this investigation was
launched…[has] irretrievably tainted the process.
The investigation of Professor Churchill’s scholarship
cannot be separated from the indefensible lynch-mob
furor that generated the initial calls for his
termination.”

“The cure for unpopular speech is public debate,” says
Hazouri, “not silencing a voice you don’t want to
hear. Professor Churchill’s critics didn’t call for an
investigation; they called for him to be fired. When
those critics include the Governor and politicians
with influence over the University budget, it’s
impossible to conduct an impartial investigation.”

The letter warns that firing Professor Churchill over
the results of an investigation triggered by his
unpopular views which are clearly protected by the
First Amendment creates a dangerous precedent when it
comes to repressing academic freedom and chilling
public debate.

–TEXT OF THE LETTER–

To the members of the University of Colorado Board of
Regents:

Later this month, the Board of Regents will meet to
consider a recommendation, made by University of
Colorado President Hank Brown, that Professor Ward
Churchill’s employment be terminated.

We write on behalf of the American Civil Liberties
Union–an organization long dedicated to preserving
the principles of the First Amendment and academic
freedom–to urge you to reject this recommendation.

The investigation of Professor Churchill’s scholarship
is the result of widespread publicity in early 2005
about certain unpopular views Professor Churchill
expressed several years earlier in an essay about the
terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Prominent
public officials, including members of the legislature
and the then-Governor of Colorado, quickly called for
Professor Churchill’s termination. The Board of
Regents called an emergency meeting, at which the
Chancellor announced his plan for an immediate
investigation of all of Professor Churchill’s writing
and speeches to determine whether they provided any
grounds for dismissal.

It is undisputed, however, that Professor Churchill’s
views are protected by the First Amendment and cannot
serve as a legal basis for any adverse employment
action. Nevertheless, the University soon launched the
investigation of Professor Churchill’s scholarship in
an effort to find more defensible grounds for
sanctioning him.

The investigative committee found six charges of
research misconduct to be sustained. The Appeals Panel
of the Privilege and Tenure Committee concluded that
only three of those were valid. Only one member of the
five-member investigative committee believed that
dismissal was an appropriate sanction, and a majority
of the appeals panel concluded that termination was
not warranted. Despite these conclusions, the
University President has recommended termination, thus
urging the same result as the elected officials who
publicly called for Professor Churchill’s termination
in 2005. The current Governor of Colorado has now
added his voice to those clamoring for Professor
Churchill to be fired.

We believe the poisoned atmosphere in which this
investigation was launched, and the circumstances
under which it was initiated, have irretrievably
tainted the process. The investigation of Professor
Churchill’s scholarship cannot be separated from the
indefensible lynch-mob furor that generated the
initial calls for his termination. Firing Professor
Churchill in these circumstances does not send a
message about academic rigor and standards of
professional integrity. On the contrary, it sends a
warning to the academic community that politically
unpopular dissenters speak out at their peril.

Accepting President Brown’s recommendation in these
circumstances poses too great a risk that other
members of the academic community will respond by
choosing to silence themselves or temper the public
expression of their views out of fear that they, too,
will be subjected to detailed fishing expeditions and
censure. Such a result not only undermines academic
freedom, it also diminishes the range and breadth of
public debate that is vital to a flourishing
democracy. We urge you to reject President Brown’s
recommendation.

Sincerely,
Anthony Romero
Cathryn Hazouri
Executive Director     Executive Director
ACLU     ACLU of Colorado

_____________________________________

Hi Folks,
Here is a clear example of what I have been warning
about with respect to inordinate right wing influence
on the nation’s higher education system (see article
below).  Anne Neal who directs Lynne Cheney’s American
Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has been
appointed by the Bush Administration to the nation’s
Accreditation Review Panel.

Cheney, ACTA and Neal think nearly all higher ed
institutions in the country are too liberal and should
have their curricula radically scaled back to
technical basics and an elective pallet that extols
the wondrous achievements and virtues of western
civilization and America.  Ethnic, gender,
environmental and ‘revisionist’ social studies would
be eliminated while classrooms are micro-managed for
appropriate content.  This is the same Anne Neal who
has been lobbying hard for the professional execution
of Ward Churchill.  Several of ACTA’s members and
allies, including the CU President, and some
high-level CU administrators, regents and state
administrators, are shaping Colorado higher education
into their preferred model of a top-down, commercially
orientated, ideologically driven font of marketable
intellectual property and highly skilled and compliant
worker bees for corporations, government and the
military.

If you want a larger context within which to justify
opposition to Churchill’s firing, this is it.  His
dismissal will significantly strengthen insidious
right wing influence at CU, in Colorado and
nationally.  Meanwhile, these same forces are co
opting the nation’s academy right under the nose of
America’s faculty, as many try to avoid fallout from
right wing inspired imbroglios such as those
surrounding Churchill, De Paul’s Norman Finkelstein
and other less visible targets.

Now is the time for all CU faculty who value liberal
education to stand up and organize, starting with
opposition to the fraudulent persecution and pending
dismissal of Ward Churchill.

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