BEA Free Speech Panel Features Moore, Kingsolver, and Hentoff

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Filmmaker Michael Moore, author of the bestselling Stupid White Men, is joining novelist Barbara Kingsolver and distinguished journalist Nat Hentoff on the BEA panel "'911': Civil Liberties in a Time of Crisis," set for Friday, May 3, from 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 a.m. at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. The panel will examine the state of free speech in the U.S. eight months after September 11 and is co-sponsored by the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), the Association of American Publishers, and the Freedom to Read Foundation.

ABFFE president Chris Finan noted to BTW that "we believe this panel is being held at a critical time. As a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, free speech rights are coming under increasing pressure." Finan cited such examples as journalists being fired for expressing criticism of the Bush administration and college and university professors who have been condemned -- and, in some cases, disciplined -- for saying American foreign policy contributed to the growth of terrorism. He also noted that "the passage of the USA Patriot Act has dramatically expanded the power of the federal government, giving the FBI widened authority to demand business records, including those of bookstores." (For more on the steps ABFFE has taken since the passage of the USA Patriot Act, click here).

The panel is open to all badged attendees at BEA. For more information on this panel and other BEA programming, click here.