Next Saturday, October the 15th, the Anthropology students at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) will protest demanding the immediate re-instatement of two academics, Professor Angana P. Chatterij, the co-convener of the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir and Professor Richard Shapiro, the Department Chair and co-founder of the Jewish-Muslim Friendship Circle in Kashmir.
According to the petition established in their defence, Chatterij and Shapiro were a vocal political force, also known for their advocacy of student rights and faculty empowerment. The two faculty members were suspended in July and have been banned from teaching since that time. The petition also states that, in August, the American Association of University Professors urged the reinstatement of Chatterji and Shapiro. The university have not publicly stated the reasons for the suspension and the case is currently under discussion by a Faculty Hearing Board.
Asking for "academic freedom and accountability," their students at CIIS are demanding to be able to continue their degree with Chatterij and Shapiro. 35 of them have also retained legal representation to pursue legal action against the Institute. In their call for solidarity towards the two suspended professors, CIIS students emphasise that
Chatterji and Shapiro's scholarly and advocacy work have focused on justice and restitution in conflict areas, anti-oppression work, and scholarship critical of systematic forms of oppression. Chatterji has been threatened before due to her work in Kashmir and on Hindu nationalism, and Shapiro has been vocal at the Institute on issues of collaborative governance and academic freedom.
Sign the petition to reinstate Chatterji and Shapiro here.
For more information visit the Injustice at CIIS website.
Angana P. Chatterji is a contributor to Kashmir: The Case for Freedom, out in November.