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Gray's praise for Beijing studetns was hypocritical

Your article on the MIT Commencement noted the sympathies expressed by MIT President Paul E. Gray for the recently slain Tiananmen Square protesters ["China news dominates graduation," June 27]. However, your article failed to note the obvious hypocrisy of Gray's remarks.

Gray spoke of the Chinese demonstrators' noble goal of a voice in their own governance, but no such voice is allowed at MIT. Gray made his address to an outdoor ceremony at which all newspaper and literature distribution had been banned. In 1969, as associate provost, Gray supported an injunction banning the rights of student antiwar activists to free speech, freedom to gather, freedom to protest, and the right to advocate protest on the MIT campus. Only last year, he and Provost John M. Deutch eliminated an entire academic department without consultation by either students, alumni or faculty.

President Gray praised the month-long Tiananmen Square encampment for democracy, but last year he crushed the month-long Central Square encampment by the homeless for low-income housing. Again in 1986, when students camped for twelve days in a shanty town to demand MIT's divestment from South Africa, Gray ordered in the police and the destruction crews. Both encampments were destroyed on rainy Friday mornings at dawn. Before most commuters had left for work, Gray's hired hands had arrested the protesters and eradicated all evidence that people had spoken out for greater democracy.

Steven D. Penn G->