Thursday, November 12, 2009

A proud tradition indeed


(9:00 PM ) So tonight the forces of fear and oppression won out, and all of us are microscopically worse off.

The academic forum on a twenty-year-old sedition trial where the main culprit was acquitted, but served 18 years on other charges did go off tonight at Umass...without, however, the main culprit. At the the 11Th hour his parole person suddenly decided that to exercise his First Amendment rights in the great state of Massachusetts (where the war for liberty first started) could violate his parole.

Umass police--including the Chief--were out in force, as was the media. I arrived about two minutes after the 7:15 PM start time (as I had to teach my wife's karate class at the Club) and the room was already sealed. It will be interesting to see how the local and Boston TV stations who turned out with the their very expensive satellite trucks handle this now-turned-non-story.

Sure, about 100-150 off duty cops showed up to hold signs. Fair enough. Ironically they were peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights. Something they managed to deny Raymond Luc Levasseur.

34 comments:

Ed said...

Larry, if you were inside the room, if you had been there for the 6:15 press conference, you would have a very VERY different attitude.

It was a disturbing event. I compare it to reading _The Turner Diaries_ but only in person.

Scary.

It is time to shut down the SEPTIC (as in tank) program.

LarryK4 said...

What can be scary with ALL those cops around--both on and off duty?

Ed said...

That people genuinely think that blowing up buildings and killing soldiers to be a good thing is scary.

The scary thing is that there are people who actually believe this stuff. THAT is scary.

And it is scary that we have a SEPTIC (as in tank) program on campus. That encourages these views....

Because they will go home, and then, when there aren't all those cops around, they will.....

LarryK4 said...

Of course there are people who believe this stuff.

They are known as the enemy, and on a bad day with our guard down they can kill thousands of Americans.

Nothing wrong with studying them.

Couves said...

Larry, you’re right, of course, we do need to study terrorists. But do you really think that Lavasseur was invited for this purpose?

carlos tropicana said...

larry, you're a confounding guy. not sure what you're about. anyway, was at the umass forum tonight. i choose freedom of speech for all--no matter how repugnant.

LarryK4 said...

Actually Carlos I'm rock solid consistent.

Couves: he was invited to speak not about his cohort who gunned down the NJ State Trooper but about the sedition trial from 20 years ago.

As far as I'm concerned sedition and terrorism go hand in hand.

Anonymous said...

"Nothing wrong with studying them."


Again, Larry using "the first" for HIS OWN purposes...


"A proud tradition indeed"?

Bull---------shit.


Larry, you are such a tool.

Anonymous said...

From the umass web site:

http://www.library.umass.edu/5th-

annual-colloquium-on-social-change/


"In 1989, Ray Luc Levasseur and his associates Pat Levasseur and Richard Williams stood trial in Springfield, Mass., on federal charges of seditious conspiracy. After 10 months of deliberation, in the most expensive trial in Massachusetts history, a jury found all three not guilty of conspiring to overthrow the United States government. In his first public address in the Pioneer Valley after serving 20 years in prison for his involvement in a series of bombings carried out to protest what he viewed as U.S. backing of South Africa’s apartheid government and Central American death squads, Levasseur will reflect on his past and present, and the significance of the Springfield Sedition trial.

Levasseur’s prison writings and his closing statement from Springfield sedition trial are available on the following websites:

http://home.earthlink.net/~neoludd/

and
http://home.earthlink.net/~neoludd/statement.html.

Sponsored by the UMass Amherst Libraries’ Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), this year’s Colloquium on Social Change will examine how ideas about social justice have shaped American lives with speakers who represent distinctly different radical challenges to American society. As a major resource for documenting the history of social change, with rich archival collections, SCUA seeks to encourage a dialog with our audience to explore how concepts of liberty and justice play out in the lives of ordinary Americans and to reimagine the struggle for social justice in the twenty first century. During the 1960s, our presenters advocated different approaches to social justice, and at a critical distance each has moved into a different understanding of the basis on which social justice can be achieved. In a world in which the formal economy is under enormous stress and in which contestation over identity and social order are ever at the forefront, the discussion should be lively.



1. "how ideas about social justice have shaped American lives with speakers who represent distinctly different radical challenges to American society."

2. "to explore how concepts of liberty and justice play out in the lives of ordinary Americans and to reimagine the struggle for social justice in the twenty first century."

3. "During the 1960s, our presenters advocated different approaches to social justice, and at a critical distance each has moved into a different understanding of the basis on which social justice can be achieved."


Ask yourselves: what is the agenda?

An exploration of a criminal mind?

Or, a celebration of radicalism?


In his own words:

But he (Levasseur) says he’s not shocked that critics have dismissed him as a terrorist:

“It’s never surprised me when corporate media label me as a ‘terrorist’ while ignoring the massive violations of life and human rights perpetrated by state terrorism, particularly the USA, its hired henchmen, and proxies, some of whom have been speakers and receivers of accolades at UMass,” he tells the Phoenix.

“Given the opportunity to speak, I will address the issue of who are the real terrorists.”


http://thephoenix.com/Boston/News/

92831-Courthouse-bomber-to-speak-

about-social-change/?page=2#

TOPCONTENT


Never forget:

Donna Lamonaco (wife of Phil Lamonaco, the officer slain by Levasseur's group) stood with a contingent of police officers as she addressed reporters at the afternoon press conference. She sighed heavily before making her remarks.

"He's of no use to our soul, our compassion - he's of no use whatsoever,"


The anarchists in Amherst think otherwise.

LarryK4 said...

Good questions. We will never know the answers.

Anonymous said...

Free speech is NOT absolute: (contrary to what idiots like Larry Kelley and Umass anarchic profs think)!!!!





http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/

archives/hal_turner_and_the_limits_

of_free_speech/

Anonymous said...

Hey Larry, how about if I come and mill around out-side your business with a big neon sign that reads: "God hates fags".

Will you be supporting my first amendment right to free speech?

Or would you be the first one calling your buddies (now strained) at the APD?

Because when it hits your bottom line, that's what people like you do, isn't it?

LarryK4 said...

Well I went on record last night (forever time/date stamped by Google) to a Cowardly-Anon-Nitwit like you confirming that if Rob Cox had called me up and said the Library was under fire (and by extension the First Amendment) and could he borrow my downstairs Aerobic Room for the event I would have instantly said YES (without charge).

And if somebody showed up with signs saying "AAC supports terrorism recruitment" (especially if it made the AP wire, as the photo of cops holding the signs "Umass supports Terrorism recruitment" did around 9:30 last night) I would suit their ass.

It's called LIBEL! So yeah, Cowardly-Nitwit-Anon 11:04 AM, I'm WELL aware Free Speech is not absolute.

And I do notice folks tend to push the envelope when they can rant Anonymously.

Anonymous said...

"And if somebody showed up with signs saying "AAC supports terrorism recruitment" (especially if it made the AP wire, as the photo of cops holding the signs "Umass supports Terrorism recruitment" did around 9:30 last night) I would suit their ass.
It's called LIBEL!"


Nice little twist on the non-answer of the question there, Larry.


So, let's try again... this time insert sign that reads "God hates fags".

Now, answer the question.

S.P. Sullivan said...

I think posting the purposes of the Colloquium on Social Change without acknowledging that Levasseur was one speaker out of several each year for the past five years is a little disingenuous. The purpose of the colloquium is to celebrate social justice. A lot of radicals happen to be concerned with social justice, so they're well represented, but it doesn't celebrate radicalism per se.

I also respectfully disagree with Ed's characterization of the panel. I have the takeaway moment on video, where attorney Elizabeth Fink essentially says that violence is never the answer anywhere.

LarryK4 said...

Wow, you are tenacious for a Cowardly-Anon-Nitwit.

Okay, since I’m on public record (most notable Margery Eagan’s Conservative column in the venerable Boston Herald five years ago and she was shocked that Amherst considers me a "conservative") as being pro gay marriage, pro gun control, pro abortion (errr…I mean “woman’s right to choose”) and pro smoking ban in bars, here is how I would handle your Nitwit scenario:

I would walk up to the asshole, get nose-to-nose (although barely avoiding physical contact of course) and ask them in my best stern cop-type voice of authority: "what can you get at Alice’s Restaurant?"

Quickly followed by: “Did you pick your toes in Poughkeepsie?"

Anonymous said...

Surprised to be on Larry's side for once but ultimately the commenters in this thread are nitwits.

The right to free speech is the most powerful liberty that America has afforded its people. This is why we as Americans should do anything we can to make sure that right is never sullied, regardless of what hate rhetoric may be spilled.

"I may not agree with your words sir, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." This is the attitude many have forgotten. When I do see someone with a "God hates fags" sign or whatever, sure I'm offended beyond belief, and I may even pray some just and loving god strikes them down where they stand. But I know that by letting them speak their mind, I in turn can speak mine as well. And if that's the trade off, than so be it.

LarryK4 said...

Oops...Sorry there Mr. Sullivan I forgot to refresh my browser before publishing my response to Cowardly-Nitwit-Anon 2:35 PM.

"Violence is never the answer..." Not so sure about that. On December 6, 1941 about 25% of Americans subscribed to the "Isolationist Movement."

The next morning that entire movement evaporated.

LarryK4 said...

Thanks Anon 3:12

My favorite compliment when I was a venerable columnist for the Amherst Bulletin (usually while shopping at the Big-Y supermarket) was a stranger would come up and say "I've NEVER agreed with a single thing you've ever said or written, EXCEPT today's column..."

Xenos said...

This is just political correctness, on the other foot, this time. It is ugly whenever you see it. I have a lot of respect for cops, but they should not be worshipped.

I would not defend Levasseur, but I would be interested in hearing him speak. The right of free speech does not just apply to the speaker, but also inheres in the public's right to listen, and know.

Ed said...

Sean, my takeaway line was at the press conference that I think you missed: "I am not aware that setting bombs is grounds to deny someone the right to speak at a college campus."

(Reporter question: "Law enforcement sees you as a threat")

"Threat to what?" "Compared to right wing radio?"

"The real terrorists our outside" (the protesting police).

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