November 8, 2014
I am dismayed to learn that the Oakland School Board has dismantled a website of Social Justice lesson plans because the police objected to it. The Board has a duty to defend students’ right to learn against police interference. I am asking the Oakland School District to repost the Urban Dreams website.
The police attack on Urban Dreams is part of a long campaign to injure and defame political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, a brilliant journalist and author who is innocent of all charges against him. In October the police obtained a state gag law in Pennsylvania specifically intended to silence Mumia Abu-Jamal. One lesson on the Urban Dreams website in Oakland asked students to compare media suppression of Mumia’s writings with suppression of the radical thoughts of Martin Luther King, and the police call for censorship was meant to shut out the words of both these defenders of freedom.
I hope that the educators of the Oakland School Board will defend free speech and academic freedom by restoring the Urban Dreams website.
CC: Antwan Wilson, Superintendent
David Kakishiba, School Board President
Oakland Teachers for Mumia
San Francisco Chronicle