PANKAJ MEHTA pankay at physics.rutgers.edu
Fri Jul 11 12:09:08 MDT 2003

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 10:06:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charlotte Kates <ckates at pegasus.rutgers.edu>
To: njsolidarity-announcements at yahoogroups.com


     The Third North American Student Conference of the Palestine
Movement will be held at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey
on October 10-12. This conference, the collective work of Palestine
solidarity groups across North America, follows upon the work of two
previous conferences, at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, held in
October 2002, and at the University of California at Berkeley, held in
February 2002. The conference will bring together Palestine solidarity
activists from across the continent to plan strategies, network with one
another, educate one another, and build a strong and united movement in
solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for national liberation.
	 Because the conference serves as such a mechanism for
coordination and discussion, it is under attack by Zionists and others who
wish to see the movement silenced, stifled and destroyed. While the
University has recognized the conference as an example of student free
speech and freedom of political association and expression, much pressure
is being brought to bear to stop the conference from taking place. New
Jersey State Senate President John Bennett called upon Governor Jim
McGreevey to step in and cancel the conference at Rutgers, New Jersey's
public state university. McGreevey has since expressed "concern" that the
conference will not be "balanced" and will instead be an "anti-Israel
rally." McGreevey's newly-discovered concern for higher education is
particularly dubious following his spearheading of a budget process that
deeply slashed funding for public higher education in the state of New
Jersey and that is leading to major tuition increases for Rutgers
students. McGreevey's stated concern is also troubling in light of past
behavior; during his 2001 gubernatorial campaign, he refused to speak
before a meeting of the American Muslim Alliance, a major and respected
national Muslim association.
	McGreevey will meet next week with Rutgers President Richard
McCormick to discuss the conference, among other agenda items. It is
imperative that the University's support for freedom of association not be
stifled by a political agenda that operates on principles of silence and
repression. The governor should be called upon to step aside from his
office's comments, and to support and recognize the importance of open
discussion and freedom of association on college campuses, and the
University's officials should be praised for their commitment to free
	PLEASE ACT! We need voices for justice and freedom to be heard at
Rutgers University and throughout New Jersey. Please contact the

Governor James McGreevey
PO Box 001
Trenton NJ 08625
Phone: (609) 292-6000
Fax: (609) 292-3454
Email: http://www.state.nj.us/governor/govmail.html

Richard L. McCormick, President
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
83 Somerset Street
New Brunswick
New Jersey 08901
Telephone: 732/932-7454
Fax: 732/932-8060
Email: president at rutgers.edu

- New Jersey Solidarity : Activists for the Liberation of Palestine

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Don't forget to sign the Rutgers University Divest from Israeli Apartheid Petition at: www.rutgersdivest.org


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