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Universities are a place for open meeting

Dimtry Zarkh '86 should read my letter ["Unruly audience was true obstacle to peace," Nov. 26] a little more carefully. I did not attempt to defend the visiting Soviet delegation, which I described then as "dogmatic" and I describe now as evasive and obfuscatory. I am not as gullible as Zarkh supposes, and I have not "learned about the Soviet Union from particularly biased textbooks." In fact, I have visited the Soviet Union as well as three other socialist countries, and I have spent nearly half a year in Eastern Europe.

The purpose of my letter was not to support the Soviets present, but to criticize the conduct of a few Americans. I do not need to mention this anti-social behavior again, because Zarkh recapitulates it so well. He admits to trying to tell our guests that they "are not welcome on our campus." (italics mine) Who does he think he is? By what authority does he claim censorship over other MIT community members?

If others wish to hold a lawful and peaceful meeting of any kind whatsoever, surely they should be able to do it on a university campus of all places. Are the freedoms of speech and assembly things which Zarkh is willing to compromise in order to preserve his personal vision of America?

Julian West G->