“The First Amendment still lives in Wisconsin’s Capitol today,” declares Patricia Hammel, the vice chair of the Madison chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Hammel, an attorney for one of the singers arrested during Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to silence dissent in the state Capitol last year, was celebrating a major victory in the long legal struggle to restore respect for the Constitution in Walker’s Wisconsin.
Congressman Roskam, the Chief Deputy Whip and co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, and Democratic Rep. from Illinois Dan Lipinski have recently introduced the so called "Protect Academic Freedom Act" that would deny federal funding to colleges and universities that participate in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars.
February 12, 2014, New York - The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations-USA (CAIR-USA) sent members of the House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee a letter urging them to oppose legislation that would deny federal funding to colleges and universities that participate in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions or scholars. According to the legislation’s sponsors, H.R. 4009 was drafted in response to the American Studies Association’s recent resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
From college campuses to community centers across the country, students and other activists have faced orchestrated and aggressive attacks when speaking in support of Palestinian rights. Many have had their viewpoints shut down and have even been called anti-Semitic. Once vibrant forums for free speech are becoming restrictive places where individuals daring to speak out against injustice are unabashedly bullied.