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BIG NEWS: A RootsAction campaign's demand that Cyntoia Brown be granted clemency has just been met. Thank you to everyone who helped!

Now let's win these two below, for the free speech of a prisoner and of professors.

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson Should Have Access to His Personal Property

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, a Virginia prisoner, was transferred to Indiana on November 4. Virginia is one of several states that use such transfers to repress and isolate prisoners who speak up for their rights. Rashid is also in solitary confinement, internationally recognized as a form of torture.

Click here to ask that he be given access to his property and be released from solitary confinement.

Rashid's personal property includes legal documents and research materials directly related to pending and anticipated court cases, and his list of addresses and phone numbers of media contacts, human rights advocates, outside supporters, and friends. His requests to receive his property have not been properly answered, his property not properly protected, and some of his property confiscated — all in violation of the prison’s own regulations and policies.

Click here to learn more, to demand that Rashid be released into the general prison population, and to find mailing addresses and phone numbers to call in addition to signing the petition.

Free Speech Includes Speaking Up for Palestinians

Academic institutions are restricting free speech, due mainly to organized pressure campaigns. This is destructive to academic activity and to the free pursuit of ideas in the institutions and the wider societies which they serve.

Here's a DIY petition created by Paul Larudee with the following statement by the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity.

Click here to add your name.

We, the undersigned, oppose the coordinated campaign to deny academics their free speech rights due to their defense of Palestinian rights and criticism of the policies and practices of the state of Israel. Temple University in Philadelphia, USA and the University of Sydney, Australia have been under great pressure to fire, respectively, Marc Lamont Hill and Tim Anderson, both senior academics at their institutions, for these reasons. Steven Salaita and Norman Finkelstein have already had their careers destroyed by such attacks. Hatem Bazian, Ahlam Muhtaseb, William Robinson, Rabab Abdulhadi and others have also been threatened.

The ostensible justification for such action is commonly known as the “Palestinian exception” to the principle of free speech. One may freely criticize and disrespect governments – including one’s own – religions, political beliefs, personal appearance and nearly everything else except the actions and policies of the state of Israel. Those who dare to do so will become the focus of well-financed and professionally run campaigns to silence and/or destroy them and their careers.

We recognize that much of the free speech that occurs in academic and other environments will offend some individuals and groups. However, as has been said many times before, the answer to free speech that some may find objectionable is more free speech, not less. We therefore call upon all academic institutions, their faculty and students, as well as the public at large, to resist such bullying tactics and defend the free speech principles upon which they and all free societies and their institutions are founded.

Sign here.

Signed by:
Abbas Ali, Abbas Hamideh, Abby Martin, Abe Hayeem, Adam Kossoff, Adrian Grima, Ahlam Muhtaseb, Ajamu Baraka, Alice Walker, Alicia Jrapko, Alison Weir, Amal Wahdan, Amani Barakat, Anat Matar, Andrea Balduzzi, Anthony Gonzales, Anthony Hall, Avi Shlaim, Barbara Erickson, Ben Norton, Bernard Regan, Blake Alcott, Brian Winston, Burhan Ghanayem, Carlos Latuff, Carlos Prieto Del Campo, Charlotte Kates, Cynthia McKinney, Dan Kovalik, Daniel Boyarin, David Heap, David Klein, Debra Zimmerman, Derek Summerfield, Diana Carminati, Diana Johnstone, Dina Matar, Dorothy Reik, Estee Chandler, Eva Bartlett, Ewa Jasiewicz, Francesco Orilia, Franco Camandona, Gayle McLaughlin, George Bisharat, George Galloway, George Paizis, Gerry Condon, Ghada Karmi, Glen Ford, Graham Dawson, Greg Dropkin, Hagit Borer, Hagop Kevorkian, Haim Bresheeth, Hala Allabadi, Hamid Dabashi, Hassan Fouda, Hatem Bazian, Herman De Ley, Hisham Ahmed, Iain Atack, Iain Chalmers, Ilan Pappe, Jackelyn Mariano, James Abourezk, James Bowen, James Early, Jeff Halper, Jenny Tonge, Jill Stein, Joe Catron, Joe Lauria, Joe Lombardo, Joe Meadors, John Adams, John Erickson, Jonathan Cook, Jonathan Rosenhead, Judith Bello, Judit Druks, Jules Townshend, Katie Miranda, Khalil Barhoum, Lamis Deek, Lara Kiswani, Laura U. Marks, Liana M. Allabadi, Lisa Rofel, Mairead Maguire, Marilyn Levin, Marina Carter, Marina Rui, Marjorie Cohn, Mark Braverman, Martin Kemp, Max Blumenthal, Medea Benjamin, Meron Rapoport, Michael Chanan, Michael Edwards, Michel Chossudovsky, Miriam Levin, Miriam Margolyes, Mnar Muhawesh, Mohammed Alatar, Mona Baker, Moshé Machover, Nadje Al-Ali, Naomi Foyle, Nathalie Grima, Netfa Freeman, Nira Yuval-Davis-Davis, Noam Chomsky, Norman Solomon, Ofra Lythe, Oren Cohen, Paul Larudee, Paola Manduca, Peter Ford, Peter Phillips, Phillip Giraldi, Phillip Weiss, Rachel Giora, Rashid Khalidi, Richard Falk, Richard Hudson, Richard Silverstein, Rick Sterling, Robert Trivers, Ronit Lentin, Rumy Hasan, Sabah Al-Mukhtar, Sai Englert, Sam Husseini, Sami Awad, Sami Ramadani, Sharmine Narwani, Shir Hever, Shohini Chaudhuri, Snehal Shingavi, Stefania Fortuna, Stephen Deutsch, Swee Ang, Tariq Ali, Ted Honderich, Terri Ginsberg, Thomas Gumbleton, Tim Anderson, Tom Hickey, Valerio Gennaro, William "Jimbo" Simmons, William I. Robinson, Zahra Billoo, Zuhair Sabbagh.

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

Create your own campaign for change at DIY.RootsAction.org.

This work is only possible with your financial support. Please chip in $3 now.

-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.



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