Skip to comments.UMass to allow bomber to speak
Posted on 11/10/2009 12:17:04 AM PST by raccoonradio
A fuming Gov. Deval Patrick is taking on University of Massachusetts officials who now say they must allow a convicted terror bomber to speak on campus because of academic freedom - even after angry cops thought the event had been stopped.
Gov. Patrick is outraged and extremely disappointed at reports that the University of Massachusetts has again extended a speaking invitation to Raymond Luc Levasseur, said Patrick spokesman Joe Landolfi.
The governor last night called on UMass brass to review the abrupt about-face.
Levasseur, now under federal parole in a Maine halfway house, was the radical leader of United Freedom Front, a violent anti-government group linked to some 20 bombings, including one at the Suffolk County Courthouse in 1976.
Because the groups rage resulted in the slaying of a New Jersey state trooper and attempted assassination of two Bay State troopers, cops strongly protested and the speech at UMass-Amherst was called off last week - until news yesterday that it was still being planned for Thursday night on the publicly funded campus.
Its truly unbelievable, said Rick Brown, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, who added that cops from around the nation are prepared to protest the event. If the governor told UMass not to bring this terrorist to a taxpayer-funded campus, it should not be happening.
But several free-speech groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have asked UMass officials to reconsider.
Now UMass officials say anti-censorship rules leave them no choice but to let Levasseur speak, even in a campus building.
I am opposed to convicted terrorist Raymond Luc Levasseur speaking at the University of Massachusetts, college President Jack Wilson said. The University of Massachusetts stands squarely against the outrageous actions he has committed in the past. As a university, we defend the principles of free speech and of academic freedom. However, we deplore the example Levasseur sets for our students and the University community.
Patrick put his foot down last week after the Herald delivered a personal plea from Donna Lamonaco of New Jersey, whose trooper husband Phil was shot dead by members of the United Freedom Front in 1981. She plans to travel to UMass to protest on Thursday.
Oh my God, Lamonaco said yesterday. Two weeks of effort to shut this down. Calling the governor. Getting calls from police groups from all over the place. We finally succeed in the cancellation, and the school decided to do it in a sneaky way.
Landolfi said that While the governor recognizes the fundamental right to freedom of speech, he believed then and believes now that this event should not go forward on a public campus out of respect for the families of (Levasseurs) victims and law enforcement.
Law enforcement sources said the event will take place in a campus building. Separate sources said the event is being sponsored by the Department of Social Thought and Political Economy, a progressive campus group, and that a UMass professor extended the invitation to Levasseur. Attempts to reach that group last night were unsuccessful.
"Although UMass professors and students claim to encourage intellectual diversity and open-mindedness, their repeated actions of intolerance in the four years I have been at UMass suggest something completely different."
They should contact the Federal Bureau of Prisons to see if this bass turd has recieved permission to travel out of Maine. Chances are that he has not.
Our country is becoming more and more unrecognizable every day....
How well is Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin recieved? How about the victims families being invited to discuss their side? They can have a little debate.
Free Speech is as much a responsibility as it is a right. They are making a mistake here.
“Free speech” means the government cannot muzzle a Nazi. It doesn’t mean you should give him a microphone, nor does it entitle him to someone else’s stage, radio show, or other soapbox.
Funny how they’ll bend over backwards to let this guy spew his Jew-bashing because it’ll support their authoritarian views, all in the name of “free speech”, but if Ron Paul showed up on campus you’d have marches and sit-ins and every other way they could think of to silence opposing views.
Umass commies would benefit from a withdrawal of taxpayer support.
Precisely. Yank their funding -- if you can get the MA legislature to do anything of the sort.
BS. In the 1980s, the Left in Boston made death threats against a right wing freedom fighter (Contra?) who tried to come to Boston University to speak. His appearance was cancelled because a safe event could not be guaranteed and I never heard of any prosecution over the violent threats.
Academic freedom is really academic BIAS. There IS a litmus test and it must be Leftist.
Boston Herald now reports he won’t be allowed to leave Maine, per his fed parole officer. Complaint made by among others GOP MA senate candidate Scott Brown. The “former terrorist”, as Deval Patrick calls him, will have his wife speak instead
If he were a “former terrorist”, he would not still be considered a convict UNDER PROSECUTION (parole).
When he is out of the system, he will be “former”. His conviction is still active.