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unruly audience was true obstacle to peace

On midsummit eve, a respectable crowd gathered in the Student Center were treated to "the Soviet viewpoint" of obstacles to peace. But the display was not provided by the visiting Soviet delegation, which had come to discuss, however dogmatically, understanding and "bridges to peace."

The show was stolen by a vocal minority of audience members who saw no opportunity for dialogue, but simply a chance to do some red-bashing. It displayed contempt for authority in the highest US tradition by speaking (and often shouting) out of turn, straying from the topic, and ignoring the pleas of the far-from-toothless moderator, Dr. Aron Bernstein of the Disarmament Study Group (DSG).

Perhaps these loud-mouths actually supposed that they were sending a message to the Soviet government. Perhaps they wished to convert the rest of the audience. All they succeeded in was creating a hostile mood and so destroying an opportunity for discussion.

Americans visiting the Soviet Union, while restricted by the government, are at least made to feel welcome by the vast majority of her people. The intolerant US citizens who came to Tuesday's meeting appeared as obstacles to peace from anyone's point of view.

Julian West G->