Green Left Weekly correspondent and award-winning poet Bill Nevins was sacked from his job as an English instructor at the Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) in September. He had been working there since 1997.
Nevins, a strong anti-war advocate, was summarily dismissed two weeks before beginning classes for the Autumn semester. He believes his dismissal from CNM was motivated at least in part by hostility to his open advocacy of Arab and Muslim student and cultural rights.
As it was too late to register for work at high schools and having been denied unemployment insurance under the rigid US system, Nevins was forced to take up work as a political canvasser for the Democratic Party. "On October 6, while doing this work, I was attacked, knocked to the ground and bitten by a vicious dog released upon me by its owner without warning", Nevins told GLW.
"I have applied for workers' compensation for my medical costs but so far the insurance company of my former employer [the Democratic Party of New Mexico] is refusing to take full responsibility for my treatment costs, even though they accept that the injuries are work related", Nevins said.
Nevins is taking legal action against CNM for his reinstatement. As he was not financial in the union (because of his sacking), the CNM Employees Union has refused to support him.
Nevins has established a defence fund to help pay for his legal costs. Donations may be sent to the Bill Nevins Academic Freedom and Free Speech Legal Defense Effort Fund, c/o Pia Gallegos Law Firm PC, 116 14th Street, S.W. Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, USA. Messages of solidarity may be sent to Nevins at firstname.lastname@example.org.