Magazine article Radical Teacher

Civil Liberties

Magazine article Radical Teacher

Civil Liberties

Article excerpt

In the U.S. war against terrorism, a federal grand jury issued indictments against Steven Kurtz, an art professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo, who used bacteria in his work, and against a genetics professor, Robert Ferrell, at the University of Pittsburgh, who the prosecutor says illegally supplied the microbes to the art professor. Mr. Kurtz, affiliated with an art collective called the Critical Art Ensemble, plans on using the microbes in an exhibit on the politics of biotechnology in food. Federal officials, however, apparently are concerned that Mr. Kurtz might be operating a bioterrorism lab out of his home. If found guilty, the two professors could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison and fined $250,000 (July 9, 2004, chronicle.com).

In In These Times (August 30, 2004) Kurt Vonnegut pays tribute to all the librarians across the country who "have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles. …

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