Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ward Churchill Trial Update


It is time to step up and support Ward Churchill's cause. He is under attack for his independent thinking and research, and for speaking truth to power (see below).

You probably know his groundbreaking books about COINTELPRO, the vicious federal program that used (and probably still uses) illegal surveillance and murder to disrupt organizations: "The COINTELPRO Papers," and "Agents of Repression," (both with Jim Vanderwall). These books are the bibles on this criminal program. If you haven't, check them out (or read them again).

He has also written many books on indigenous people. In one of them I learned that Indian children, when they were taken from their parents and put in boarding schools, children were forced to do was do slave labor for a big part of each day. No surprise, just like the prison farms.

Spread the word, pass this along, send statements of solidarity, organize solidarity events, and donate to the defense fund.

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Ward Churchill Trial Update

Ward & I are very appreciative of all of the support we have received over the past several years in our battle with the University of Colorado, and for all of the work that each of you contributes to our collective struggle. We wanted to keep you updated as we prepare to go to trial next week.

As most of you know, Ward Churchill -- an indigenous scholar and activist and tenured professor of Ethnic Studies-- came under attack in January 2005 for an article he wrote on 9/11. A media blitz followed in which Bill O’Reilly and others spearheaded attacks on Ward. Colorado Governor Bill Owens called for the University to fire him immediately but, because that would have been blatantly unconstitutional, CU instead launched an investigation into all of Ward’s writings in an attempt to come up with some pretext to fire him. In July 2007, the University of Colorado fired Ward for “academic misconduct.”

Ward’s case is emblematic of the attempts to silence dissent that we have seen all over this country, not just in our universities, but in our communities as well. Ward is now suing the University. Many indigenous scholars and activists, as well as critical race theorists including Prof. Derrick Bell will be testifying.

Ward is requesting reinstatement so that CU and other universities will be deterred from attempts to silence other critical voices. It is our deepest hope that in standing up to the rightwing forces attempting to silence Ward we will show them that we will not tolerate such repression.

The trial is scheduled for March 9-27 in Denver state court. If you are in the area, your presence would be greatly appreciated:

Denver State Court, Courtroom #6, 1437 Bannock St., Denver, CO 80202

Supporters have organized a kick-off event is Monday, March 9, 2009 from 9:30am-5pm, with refreshments across the street from the courthouse in Civic Center Park. For more info or ride shares, e-mail churchilltrial@gmail.com.

If you would like more information, or can make a donation to the legal fund, please visit the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network website at www.wardchurchill.net.

Finally, please keep us in your thoughts and spread the word!

In struggle and solidarity,


Natsu Saito


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