Report: Free Speech in Disrepair at CUNY

Originally published at

According to a report from the James G. Martin Center, free expression principles are under threat at CUNY, one of the country’s largest public universities.

Take for example one incident with posters for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, that were placed around campus in 2017. The posters were designed to criticize professors at the university who had expressed support of Hamas.

Sometimes CUNY administrators use more subtle means to undermine free speech. This can be illustrated by Brooklyn College’s response to posters placed around campus by the David Horowitz Freedom Center in 2017. Those posters labeled two of the college’s professors as terrorist supporters, a view that is not only constitutionally protected (because it falls short of incitement) but is also arguably true. (The professors had been arrested while demonstrating in support of a Gaza government led by Hamas, a group designated as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union.)

The President of Brooklyn College (part of the CUNY system), said that the posters were not protected by the First Amendment. Instead, she argued that they were “targeted intimidation” because they were directed at specific faculty members in the community.

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