'Barred from speaking at a public university over her refusal to sign a pledge of allegiance to Israel, journalist Abby Martin is now suing the state of Georgia, arguing its anti-BDS legislation sets fire to the First Amendment.
Slated to give a keynote talk at a media literacy conference at Georgia Southern University later this month, Martin was asked to sign what amounts to a loyalty oath to the State of Israel, mandated under a 2016 Georgia law barring the government from hiring contractors who boycott Israeli products or associate with the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Martin told RT she was “shocked” when she saw what she was asked to sign.
“I was not anticipating this whatsoever,” she said. “I was aware of the issue – I’ve talked about how over two dozen states have employed this measure for independent contractors – but I just never connected the two.”
Declining to sign the pledge, explaining that pro-Palestine activism is “central” to her work, the university swiftly called off Martin’s talk. When her colleagues came to her defense, the entire event was shut down, a move she says is “emblematic of the state of academic freedom in the United States at large,” where similar laws have been passed in 28 states.
“I think that’s really interesting, because there’s essentially no discussion on left-wing speakers like myself discussing issues like Palestine, which are literally being blocked on the state level,” Martin said, calling the censorship a “direct violation of the First Amendment.”
Read more: Anti-BDS laws are meant to censor & control speech, journalist Abby Martin tells RT after suing Georgia govt over cancelled talk
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