After the latest in a series of right-wing harrassment campaigns, George Ciccariello-Maher has been placed on leave at Drexel University, where he is an associate professor of politics and global studies. Click here to sign a petition demanding the university reconsider their decision:
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We, the undersigned members of the academic community, consider that with these measures, Drexel University is capitulating to racist internet trolls’ smear campaign and right-wing crusade to undermine academic freedom. In a moment in which the far-right feels empowered enough to begin a nation-wide offensive against academia, colleges and universities must pursue their efforts to provide learning environments that are welcoming, diverse, and safe for all members of the university community. In placing Professor Ciccariello-Maher on leave, however, Drexel is stating a dangerous precedent. Their response to this series of attacks against the most fundamental values of higher education is equivocal to say the least. By disciplining faculty members while remaining silent about the frightening onslaught of harassment to which faculty and students have been subjected, Drexel administrators are acknowledging that anonymous threats of violence are an effective tool to undermine academic freedom. This not only affects faculty members, but most importantly, it deeply harms the right of students to learn in a safe environment by suggesting that threats of violence and the language that accompany them can do away with intellectual debate.