The Coalition to "Keep Free Speech in the Free State" arose in response to a bill in the Maryland Assembly which would defund public universities for reimbursing faculty's participation in professional organizations that Maryland legislators politically disagree with.
In plain English, some Maryland legislators disagree with academic associations which have declared support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Israeli Occupation. Onlyacademic associations with this specific political opinion are being targeted. To date, targeted associations include the following:
However, it is important to note that the Modern Language Association which has a membership of 30,000 has been exploring BDS resolutions which could inevitably add them to the "banned" list.
The New York Assembly has already backed off of a similar proposed legislation in response to a backlash from academic, civil liberties and constitutional representatives citing that such legislation infringes on the right to political expression and is discriminatory.
Maryland has a long history of tolerance, respect for civil liberties and support for diverse academic discourse. Given the keen national attention this issue has garnered, our State has much to lose from the passing of this legislation.
Sign the petition to keep Maryland from becoming the national "poster child" for academic suppression.