February 26, 2009
Please Post Widely
On 24 February, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at
The University alleges that 'sound amplification' disrupted classes but fails to note that SAIA York quickly moved the rally away from Vari Hall in order to deliver a letter to the University administration. It should also be noted that the maximum monetary penalty has been imposed by the administration without following the verification process outlined in the university’s “Student Code of Conduct”. In doing so, the administration has violated its own procedures. Furthermore, the university has repeatedly failed to respond numerous complaints filed by SAIA members and their community allies over racist and sexist commentary directed at them by members of pro-Israel advocacy organizations present on that day
These discriminatory and punitive measures come a week prior to the scheduled launch of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) at York University on March 3-8 (www.apartheidweek.org). Pro-Israel organizations have applied immense, coordinated and nation-wide pressure to shut down IAW, including placing full-page advertisements in national newspapers calling on universities to prevent IAW from occurring. The repressive activities of the
It is shocking to see university administrations respond to these racist calls to stifle free speech and student organizing around Israeli Apartheid. At
The attempt by the pro
** Please email and phone the following individuals in protest against these repressive measures.
Robert J. Tiffin (Vice President Students)
416 736 5955
Mamdouh Shoukri (University President)
416 736 5200
** Further Links:
1) Carleton Students Against Israeli Apartheid http://carleton.saia.ca/
2) Exposed: University of Toronto suppresses pro-Palestinian activism
3) Academic Freedom Threatened in Ontario Universities
4) Israeli Apartheid Week Schedule
Sample letter to send to York University administration (email@example.com,
President Mamdouh Shoukri,
Vice President Robert Tiffin,
I was shocked and appalled to learn that the student group, Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) was penalized for holding a demonstration on campus in solidarity with the students in Gaza. One would expect that an academic institution like
It is a shame that an institution which is built on the principle of freedom of expression, and that the senior administration which is entrusted with upholding freedom of speech, are restricting speech and penalizing students engaged in legitimate protest. This reflects badly on
It seems that
I strongly urge you to reconsider your problematic position and cancel the fines. I also strongly urge you to uphold the principles of freedom of expression and academic freedom, and to allow students to express themselves freely without the influence of external pro-Israel lobbying groups. This is your duty even if you do not agree with views expressed.
February 27, 2009
Students Against Israeli Apartheid (York) Suspended and Fined
February 26, 2009
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