Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Letter to the Editor

By now I imagine many of your readers have caught the stream of information relating to the WoodstockFreeSpeech.org campaign. The campaign is a response to Governor Cuomo's Executive Order 157 which penalizes, and intends to blacklist,  institutions which engage in first amendment protected activities. Not only is this act illegal, it breeches a trust that is established between elected officials and civil society: that elected officials uphold their oath to office and protect the citizens they've been elected to serve. Rather, what has taken place is some not-well understood subservience to a foreign government which undermines the Bill of Rights and usurps the US and NYS Constitutions.

This subservience is being investigated in a Freedom of Information Act request by a number of legal and justice groups. Perhaps this FOIA request will shed light on the motivation for the Governor putting a foreign nation's security above our right to speak freely and act according to our sense of justice by engaging in politically motivated academic, cultural and economic boycotts of a country which engages in systemic gross human rights violations. 

Aside from the sad human tragedy of a belligerent occupier unable to see their brothers as sisters in humanity and aside from the grotesque distortions about culture, identity, victim and perpetrator sewn via the military industrial media academic complex, the core issue here is self determination – the principles of which evolved as part of our human intellectual, philosophical and moral dialectic leading to the establishment of democratic institutions and the conventions on international human rights law. 

To know, to think, and to feel the injustices that our brothers and sisters under military occupation are suffering is both mind blowing and spirit shattering. To know that our government is the primary support of the violence and oppression is intolerable. To see the Governor of NY state acting apparently at the behest of a foreign nation to undermine our rights is egregious if not treasonous.

Such actions require a greater and opposing force to restore our most basic rights: that the Governor should rescind his executive order (in the very least). To that end, WoodstockFreeSpeech.org will continue with it's public events around the issue; the next event (see website ) will be a World Cafe style community dialog about the Free Speech Resolution this Friday at the Woodstock Town Hall. 


Adam Roufberg

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