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An atmosphere of intolerance


Last Tuesday morning, members of the Alternative News Collective found 1300 copies of their newspaper, The Thistle, destroyed in and near Lobby 7. This was not the first attack on their distribution.

Also last week, hundreds of posters advertising a lecture by Israel Shahak on human rights violations in the occupied territories were torn to pieces. On Wednesday, seemingly in retribution, the words "Israel is Apartheid" were written over pro-Israeli posters put up by MIT Students for Israel.

These attempts to suppress free discourse, in light of the attacks against GAMIT and MIT Pro-Life posters last term, point to a growing trend of intolerance. Campus debate has degenerated into senseless destruction and vandalism. One would imagine that at an institution which prides itself on attracting some of the brightest and most imaginative students in the world, such acts of narrow-mindedness would be greeted with outrage. Instead, the response has been silence or further hostile acts.

The Tech condemns these actions. MIT, like all other universities, must be a forum for ideas not only in the classroom but in every day campus life as well. We call on student leaders, faculty and administration to take strong stands against such intolerance and reaffirm their commitment to free speech and a diversity of opinions.