Criminalizing Dissent: The Attack on BDS and Pro-Palestinian Speech
Date(s) - 11/12/2019
6:30 pm - 9:15 pm
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Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst
Save the date for this high-powered panel on mounting efforts by U.S. political leaders, right-wing pro-Israel lobbying groups, and college and university administrators to silence pro-Palestinian speech on American campuses and criminalize supporters of BDS, a nonviolent movement that aims to hold Israel accountable for its violations of Palestinian human rights.
Topics will include the recent bipartisan vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to condemn BDS, and a new U.S. Department of Education policy that threatens to withdraw federal funding from institutions that allow pro-Palestinian speech critical of Israeli policy.
The panel will feature Harvard Professor Cornel West, the author of 20 books on philosophy, race, and religion, and a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Real Time with Bill Maher; anti-racism activist Tim Wise, the bestselling author of numerous books on white privilege and the politics of racial scapegoating and a frequent guest on CNN and MSNBC; Shaun King, a journalist who writes for The Intercept and The North Star and is one of the leading voices of the Black Lives Matter movement; Dima Khalidi, the founder and director of Palestine Legal, a consortium of lawyers that works to protect pro-Palestinian activists from attacks on their civil and constitutional rights; and BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, who has been barred from entering the U.S. by the Trump administration and will join the event via Skype live from Israel.
The panel will be moderated by Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, a co-founder of MPower Change and former co-chair of the Women’s March, who was recently targeted by a private Israeli intelligence firm as part of a coordinated, U.S.-based campaign to stop her from speaking out against Israeli policies on American college campuses.
The event is being organized by the Northampton-based Media Education Foundation (MEF) and the UMASS Resistance Studies Initiative, and will serve as a follow-up to MEF’s recent panel “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech & the Battle for Palestinian Rights,” which drew a capacity crowd at the Fine Arts Center and inspired a fierce political and legal backlash from right-wing groups.
The panel is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Tickets are available through the FAC Box Office during business hours (Monday-Friday, 10am to 6pm; 413-545-2511 or 800-999-UMAS) and online anytime at fineartscenter.com
. Tickets are limited to 2 per person and guarantee admission until 11/12/19 at 6:15pm. At that time, any empty seats that remain may be filled by those without a pre-reserved ticket.