Butler Students Claim Angela Davis Speech ‘Cancelled’ After ‘Zionist’ Pressure, While University Describes Postponement Over Procedure Error
Student groups at Butler University in Indiana alleged Tuesday that a planned event with the activist Angela Davis was cancelled after “pressure from Zionist students” over her support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, while a representative from the school said that the program was simply postponed over procedural issues.
In a statement, a number of campus organizations including Students for Justice in Palestine and the International Club accused the Indianapolis-based Butler of a “racist and authoritative cancellation” of the April 1 conversation with Davis, which was billed as “Joint Struggle and Collective Liberation.”
“Days before Butler University’s shameless censorship of Dr. Angela Davis, the Student Government Association was bombarded by pressure from Zionist students who claimed to oppose Davis’ event because of her support for [the BDS] movement — a grassroots demand for nonviolent economic pressure against Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestine,” the statement said, which was also signed by local groups including Jewish Voice for Peace and Black Lives Matter chapters.
Butler University spokesperson Mark Apple denied that Davis’ views were at issue, telling a local newspaper that the event with Davis was in fact postponed — and not cancelled — after the Student Government Association “learned the established processes weren’t followed for this substantial expenditure of student activity fees.”
“Allegations that the event was cancelled due to pressure from students who had concerns about the speaker and the content of the program are completely false,” Apple told The Indianapolis Star Wednesday. “Butler University is committed to working with SGA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board to fulfill its goal of hosting speakers who educate the campus on important social issues.”
Apple also said that the school and Davis were working to reschedule the event.