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Targeting Activist University of Ottawa Students
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Because of arrogant Allan Rock leadership, the U of O is despotically run, tolerating no views divergent from his own.
Until his early March Board of Directors removal, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya was Fulcrum Publishing Society (FPS) Ombudsman, the English-language student newspaper at Canada's University of Ottawa (U of O).
It resulted from his critical reports, including a preliminary February 23 one for FPS's editorial mistreatment of Professor Denis Rancourt, fired in March 2009 for his political activism - specifically his courageous stance on Occupied Palestine.
In 2007, after criticizing university opposition to academically boycotting Israel, repression against him intensified under new president Allen Rock, a former Canadian politician, UN ambassador, and staunch Israeli supporter.
Nazemroaya accused the Fulcrum of "publishing opinion pieces against Dr. Rancourt. (They've) strongly criticized him, his university classes, his position, and his brand of activism."
In his January 9 report, Nazemroaya cited illegal U of O "covert surveillance," adding that "The Fulcrum has a duty to cover all news concerning campus life in an unbiased way and to the best of its abilities," especially over denying a distinguished tenured professor academic freedom and firing him for his views - the way a police state silences dissent.
Nazemroaya also accused the FPS Board of endorsing:
After his dismissal, Nazemroaya wrote an open letter to the FPS, the university Students Federation (SFUO), Graduate Students Association (GSAED), and U of O, saying he was FPS Ombudsman until early March, then removed over "a sequence of events launched by the investigation of a formal complaint by Denis Rancourt."
He accused FPS Business Manager Frank Appleyard of "breach(ing) the FPS constitution by simultaneously working for Allan Rock and the FPS. This was a conflict of interest. Appleyard claimed that this was okay because the BOD had authorized this violation. The BOD has no such power," any more than a head of state may violate constitutional and international laws. Doing so is a criminal act. In academic environs, violations are ethical conflicts of interest, clearly explained in the FPS Constitution's Section 1(1), stating:
They may not simultaneously work for the Fulcrum, SFUO, GSAED or U of O Administration. Doing so is a constitutional violation and conflict of interest.
Appleyard breached his constitutional duty, then falsely accused Nazemroaya in his Ombudsman capacity.
"The BOD now claims there was a 'typographical mistake in the constitution," an entirely bogus assertion to justify an unjustifiable act. Appleyard then "accuse(d) me of personal attacks and false statements, which BOD member Scott Bedard informed me was reason for my suspension," bogus again to remove him and attack academic freedom.
As troublesome, the Fulcrum "imposed a media blackout on this scandal. My position is that a cover-up has been underway. A public inquiry is in order," one not forthcoming to let Allan Rock run the U of O like a feudal lord, ruling by edict with no opposition.
BOD members gave Nazemroaya two choices - obey or go. He chose honor, stepped down, and accused university president, Allan Rock, of unfitness and damaged credibility in asking him to resign, then added:
He should have known that hiring Appleyard was unethical, after he backed Rancourt criticism - what Nazemroaya called "notoriously negative and ill-informed." Hiring him looks "like a reward and was an infringement of ethical norms expected for the governance of a publicly funded institution."
Because of arrogant Allan Rock leadership, the U of O is despotically run, tolerating no views divergent from his own. Effectively, he declared free expression and academic freedom dead, so long as he's lord and master of U of O's administration.
A Program Note
Professor Denis Rancourt will be this writer's guest on The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network - Saturday, May 8 at 1PM Eastern time.
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya will be on the same program - Sunday, April 11 at 1PM.
In-depth discussion will focus on the gross injustice to both guests - to freely air what FPS suppresses.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on April 11, 2010.