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Dr Tim Anderson suspended from Sydney University for criticising war propaganda

University of Sydney suspended professor Dr. Tim Anderson from his position as a senior lecturer after he had worked for this university for more than 20 years because of his criticisms of war propaganda against Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Dr.Tim Anderson is the author of the excellent book, "The Dirty War on Syria". This action by Provost Garton is an infringement on academic freedom and on Dr Anderson's human right and freedom of speech. His offence to the establishment is to inform, educate and organise for the end of wars, in which Australia is complicit.

While the ostensible reason for this extreme and totally illegitimate expulsion is because of Tim’s advocacy for Palestinian equality, it’s hard not to see it as motivated mainly by his advocacy for Syria, and as an attempt to suppress the “pro-Assad” point of view.

Perhaps I’m drawing a long bow, but it also seems no coincidence that this week, after barely a mention of Syria since mid-October, suddenly we heard the tired old story of the Caesar photos and the need to somehow get Assad to trial – or rather to be prosecuted for war crimes, as there is no-one suggesting that he didn’t commit them.
Which just means we need to redouble our efforts in support of both Palestine and Syria, as Israel ramps up its military aggression and propaganda on both fronts.

The current atmosphere in Australia is highly anti-Russian and anti-Syrian, while at the same time absolutely nothing is discussed that would offer any perspective; there is only one setting – Assad brutal dictator killing his own people, and Putin the calculating and misleading leader of a pariah state that “carelessly” poisons people it doesn’t like. If a news story doesn’t fit this pattern it’s either forgotten or adjusted to suit.

Incidentally I find it interesting that the graphic under dispute refers to Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, rather than the most recent attack, or the six months of target practice on the Gaza border by the IOF. I should also say that the point being made is one I always find the most disingenuous claim of Israel and its allies – that Hamas’ rockets are “indiscriminate” – as if it is that which makes them criminal. By comparison the IDF’s precision strikes that intentionally target and obliterate families, TV stations, water pumping stations, schools and ambulances, are “legitimate responses”.

Comments

Tim says that "Expressions of support, under this post in my facebook comments section, are welcome. I will try to have them published. Reject political #Censorship. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdk-ejNiWkhvtN8xVn3ZZTZNLThn9XiLXnbOI0oQ6LR8XPErA/viewform

I tried to get Tim's Facebook page as I would like to support him, and it was blank - no info or posts at all.
Wonder what this means?

"Statement from University of Sydney staff in opposition to the suspension pending dismissal of Dr Tim Anderson
The suspension of Dr Tim Anderson pending the termination of his employment is an unacceptable act of censorship and a body-blow to academic freedom at the University of Sydney.

Academic freedom is meaningless if it is suspended when its exercise is deemed offensive. Academics’ continuing employment cannot be conditional on their scholarly activities remaining within the bounds of ‘civility’, ‘respect’, or any other contested and intrinsically indefinable constraint. There can be no better-known or more banal occurrence in intellectual history than the suppression of ideas on the grounds of their offensiveness to powerful interests. In instilling a fear of arbitrary reprisal, this suppression stifles the very freedom of debate and of thought that education requires. Whether an idea is ultimately accepted by the scholarly community is irrelevant: to censor it, and thereby to prevent it being seriously entertained – and, where necessary, rejected – is fatally to hamstring the open conduct of scholarly enquiry.

By expressing our unconditional opposition to Dr Anderson’s dismissal, we endorse neither the specific parallel of Israel and Nazi Germany, nor any of Dr Anderson’s other political or intellectual positions. But we insist that the drawing of historical comparisons between the actions of states is essential to intellectual and educational work, and must not be subject to a priori constraints.

Dr Anderson’s dismissal would be a dangerous, unjustifiable and intolerable attack on the basic conditions necessary for the university to function as an intellectual and educational institution. If it goes ahead, the precedent it will establish will vitiate any claim the university might make to respect the open pursuit of ideas. We call on the university’s management to reinstate Dr Anderson immediately.

Dr Nick Riemer (English and Linguistics)
Dr David Brophy (History)
Professor Linda Connor (Anthropology)
Professor Colin Wight (Government and International Relations)
Dr Rebecca Pearse (Political Economy)
Dr Bruce Gardiner (English)
Dr Michael Beggs (Political Economy)
Professor John Frow (English)
Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Dr Benjamin Miller (Writing Studies)
Dr Bill Dunn (Political Economy)
Dr Robert Austin (History)
Dr Gareth Bryant (Political Economy)
Associate Professor Charlotte Epstein (Government and International Relations)
Dr Thomas Adams (History)
Associate Professor Jake Lynch (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Emeritus Professor Frank Stilwell (Political Economy)
Professor James Martin (Linguistics)
Professor Michael McDonnell (History)
Dr Stephen Whiteman (Art History)
Dr Louise Marshall (Art History)
Dr Coel Kirkby (Sydney Law School)
Associate Professor Bronwyn Winter (European Studies)
Honorary Associate Professor Stuart Rosewarne (Political Economy)
Professor Adam Morton (Political Economy)
Dr Martin Kear (Government and International Relations)
Dr Evan Jones (Political Economy)
Dr Joe Collins (Political Economy)
Associate Professor John Grumley (Philosophy)
Associate Professor Ahmar Mahboob (Linguistics)
Dr Mark Post (Linguistics)
Dr Sebastian Job (Anthropology)
Dr Jadran Mimica (Anthropology)
Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe (History)
Dr Stewart Jackson (Government and International Relations)
Dr Luis Angosto Ferrandez (Anthropology)
Dr Sophie Loy-Wilson (History)
Dr Christopher Hartney (Studies in Religion)
Associate Professor Dilip Dutta (Economics)
Dr Sonja Van Wichelen (Sociology)
Dr Beth Yahp (English)
Dr Gaynor Macdonald (Anthropology)
Dr. Anastasia Burkovskaya (Economics)
Ms Isabella Dabaja (Work and Organisational Studies)
Mr Llewellyn Williams-Brooks (Political Economy)"

Source: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdk-ejNiWkhvtN8xVn3ZZTZNLThn9XiLXnbOI0oQ6LR8XPErA/viewform

Actually,I don't think it is facebook page. I've just copied and pasted and posted what was on the page - i.e. a statement of support from university colleagues.

Our universities really are stuffed, stuffed shirts and stuffed in terms of worthless and useless corporate and politically corrupt. Scary, because most people still take them seriously.