IU-Bloomington Gears Up for Day of Action in Defense of Academic Freedom Tuesday, Indiana politicians expected to vote on SB202 Wednesday

Staff report

Bloomington, Indiana, USA – February 24, 2024

The Indiana University Bloomington community is rallying together for a Day of Action on Tuesday, February 27th, organized by the Green Feather coalition, according to information shared with the Bloomingtonian. The event aims to address concerns surrounding academic freedom, censorship, and recent developments impacting the university’s research and creative endeavors.

Coalition’s Stand Against Neo-McCarthyism Threats

The Green Feather coalition has expressed alarm at what they perceive as an attack on research, creative production, campus organizing, and free expression within the Indiana University community. Issues raised include the silencing of voices critical of U.S. imperialism in Gaza, potential threats to tenure protections through legislation like SB 202, and President Whitten’s efforts to dismantle the Kinsey Institute, renowned for its sexuality and LGBTQ research, according to a message sent to the Bloomingtonian.

The coalition contends that these developments represent a looming new Neo-McCarthy Era, where dissent is stifled, and academic freedom is under threat.

Echoes of IU’s History: The “Green Feather Movement”

In a nod to IU’s rich history of resistance, the Green Feather movement draws inspiration from a pivotal moment in 1953. At that time, IU students, faced with conservative attempts to ban Robin Hood from Indiana public schools, defiantly adorned themselves with green feathers. This collective act of solidarity challenged McCarthyism, making national headlines and ultimately contributing to the discrediting and disgrace of Senator McCarthy.

Now, in 2024, the Green Feather coalition calls for a revival of the movement in response to the widespread censorship and erosion of First Amendment rights in schools and universities. They argue that academic freedom once again stands at the brink, and it is time to rebuild the Green Feather Movement.

Mobilizing the Campus: Wear the Green Feather with Pride

To reignite the spirit of resistance, the Green Feather coalition is organizing a mass distribution of green feathers across IU’s campus. They are urging undergraduates, graduate workers, faculty, and staff to wear the green feathers proudly as a public symbol of solidarity and defiance. This gesture aims to draw explicit parallels between the current state of academic freedom and the repression witnessed during the McCarthy era.

The coalition emphasizes the importance of unity and defiance against what they perceive as political attacks. They believe that by standing together, the IU community can overcome censorship and protect academic freedom.

Invitation to the IU Community

The IU community is invited to become leaders in the fight for academic freedom by joining the Green Feather movement. Participants are encouraged to take a green feather, wear it boldly around campus, and contribute to the ongoing struggle for freedom of inquiry and artistic expression.

In the face of challenges, the Green Feather coalition aims to demonstrate that a united front can withstand attempts to suppress voices and ideas within the academic realm. The Day of Action on February 27th is anticipated to be a visible and symbolic statement in defense of academic freedom at Indiana University Bloomington.

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