On October 18th, 2023, CUPE 3906 membership voted to adopt the follow statement around academic freedom and critical scholarship during our General Membership Meeting (GMM) in response to the call from the Academic Alliance Against Antisemitism, Racism, Colonialism & Censorship in Canada (ARC):
“CUPE 3906 unequivocally supports the academic freedom of its members. This freedom includes the right to pursue research and open inquiry in an honest search for knowledge that is free from institutional censorship, including that of the government. CUPE 3906 acknowledges that the freedom from political and institutional censure is especially critical at times of war and conflict where scholarly voices are an important corrective to widespread disinformation campaigns.
CUPE 3906 supports the anti-racist and decolonial initiatives in Canadian educational institutions and opposes anti-Palestinian racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia along with all forms of racism and hatred. We will strive to ensure our members are free from experiencing bigotry and hate in our classrooms and campuses. The Local is committed to upholding the security and safety of all scholars who are targeted because of their scholarship and political work. We call upon institutions, like McMaster University, to implement measures to safeguard our members.
CUPE 3906 acknowledges that targeted attacks against scholars who support the Palestinian struggle have a chilling effect on the academic freedom of our members in the classroom, in their research, and in campus politics more broadly. These repressive tactics must be challenged, and scholars must be free from all forms of recrimination and harassment that may occur due to the nature of their research.“