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letters | students’ free speech at issue

Intimidation of Palestine solidarity activism should be brought to light

Yvonne Abraham should be commended for her insightful commentary on the current controversy at Northeastern University over the free speech rights of student organizers (“Stifling campus voices,” Metro, June 13). Intimidation of Palestine solidarity organizers is not limited to Northeastern, but is a national trend. Too often political criticism of Israeli occupation policies is being wrongly conflated with anti-Semitism.

Civil rights groups nationwide are concerned that the speech rights of university students are being stifled by a documented national increase in intimidation against Palestine solidarity organizing on college campuses. The intimidation includes an increase in university administration threats to the speech and association rights of student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslim Student Association and verbal and physical assaults against Palestine solidarity organizers on campuses.

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The Center for Constitutional Rights, in conjunction with the National Lawyers Guild and others, has been responding to complaints of intimidation through the recently launched Palestine Solidarity Legal Support initiative. Since the beginning of 2013 the initiative has documented more than 55 cases of intimidation. It is high time these cases received their due share of attention.

David Kelston

Chairman

National Lawyers Guild

Massachusetts chapter

Boston

Liz Jackson

Cooperating counsel

Center for

Constitutional Rights

New York

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