Free speech, academic freedom under attack --get active folks
First news of note (and this is the most important because it is the most immediate and most dangerous to life and limb): 48 pro-democracy activists in Egypt including 6 bloggers (the most famous of whom is the very first Egyptian Bloggers, Alaa) have been arrested. Here is a quote about the issue from The Sandmonkey
"Currently there are about 48 detained , 6 of them are bloggers, and 3 of them are women.The most known of them is Alaa, which makes him the posterboy of this campaign, but getting them out is equally as important. Egypt has less than 830 bloggers all in all, and 6 are so far gone, and amongst them one of Egypt's most highly profiled one. This is by no means a co-incidence. The Government agents handpicked them from amongst the protesters and they knew who they were. They have been wanting to get Alaa for a long time now, precisely because he is high profile, and because he helps organizes the protests and spread the information through the aggregator he runs. With him gone, Aggregator could shut down without his maintenance, the other bloggers get too scared to be active and find no way to organize and reach one other. It's of vital importance that he gets released ASAP."
This is rocking the Egyptian blogosphere and should be rocking the blogosphere and news media well beyond Egypt's borders! Go to the Sandmonkey's blog and find out what you can do to help!
Next, the AUT is at it again. The two major teachers' unions in the UK are merging and, after their attempt to boycott Haifa and Bar-Ilan Universities failed last year they are now attempting to make an academic boycott of all Israeli universities, all Israeli academics and Israeli students. Ha'aretz has the heads-up article here. I blogged about the boycott last year here.I'm going to be contacting the organizers of Engage again (the folks who organized and led the fight against the first boycott attempt) and see if I can find out more and what actions we, as academics, and we as world citizens, can do to fight against the stifling of academic freedom. Will keep everyone updated as I get more info.
Now off to take the small kitten (finally!!) for his castration.