The other day I described how University of Wisconsin-Stout police got all censorious and thuggish about a rather inoffensive Firefly poster and an anti-fascism follow-up. Nathan Fillion and others took notice of the story, spreading it widely. The general hope was that once the matter left the hands of UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter and reached the hands of someone with a room-temperature IQ and even a tenuous grasp of freedom of expression, the problem would be corrected. We should have known better.
September 27, 2011 by Peter Bonilla FIRE knew yesterday's announcement of the University of Wisconsin – Stout's (UWS's) intimidation and bullying of theater professor James Miller would make a big splash, given its outrageous facts . Nonetheless, the response has been overwhelming, in the best of ways. Joanna noted yesterday the widespread attention the case has received in the media, which since then has only grown; today saw writeups of Miller's shocking treatment in Gawker and the Onion -affiliated pop culture site The A.V. Club .
September 16, 2011 From: Walter, Lisa Sent: Friday, September 16, 2011 9:52 AM To: Miller, James Cc: Walter, Lisa Subject: posting on a board outside your office has been removed Dr.
September 26, 2011 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 26, 2011—A professor has been censored twice, reported to the "threat assessment team," and threatened with criminal charges because of satirical postings on his office door. Campus police at the University of Wisconsin–Stout (UWS) censored theater professor James Miller's poster depicting a quotation from actor Nathan Fillion's character in the television series Firefly , and the police chief threatened Miller with criminal charges for disorderly conduct. After UWS censored his second poster, which stated, "Warning: Fascism," Miller came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. "Colleges and universities are supposed to foster brave and bold environments of freewheeling intellectual inquiry and expression. If a quote from a network science fiction show is a bridge too far, something has gone seriously wrong," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said.