Amazing and Shameful … So much for Freedom of Speech in America
Excerpted from The Guardian of London 1.8.2019
The veteran civil rights activist Angela Davis said she was “stunned” by the decision of Alabama’s Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to revoke an award she was set to receive.
The institute announced in October that Davis, a Birmingham native, would receive the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights award, calling her “one of the most globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak”.
But last week, the organization reversed course and said she does not meet the criteria after all, in an apparent response to objections over her outspoken support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that protests against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
“I have devoted much of my own activism to international solidarity and, specifically, to linking struggles in other parts of the world to US grassroots campaigns against police violence, the prison industrial complex, and racism more broadly,” Davis said in a statement on Monday night.
“The rescinding of this invitation and the cancellation of the event where I was scheduled to speak was thus not primarily an attack against me but rather against the very spirit of the indivisibility of justice.”
Davis, who was an active member of the Black Panther party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the US communist party, said her support for Palestinian prisoners is consistent with her support for political prisoners in other parts of the world.