Let Jerry Rubin Speak Ask Holyoke Students

by Laurel | March 14th, 2012

14 March 1970

Rubin speaking at the University at Buffalo in March 1970

Rubin speaking at the University at Buffalo in March 1970

The Phoenix, Holyoke Community College’s student publication, urged the College administration to allow Jerry Rubin of the Chicago 7 to speak on campus, upholding the basic principles of this nation.

The Student Senate cultural committee invited Rubin to speak on April 3 for a fee of more than $600, however an auditorium for Rubin to speak has not been located. The Phoenix editorial took the position that Rubin should be given a place to speak and with first-hand information acquired from the event students could make up their own minds about his guilt. The editorial made it clear that it was not sympathizing with Rubin’s views but rather defending strongly his right to express them.

Jerry Rubin was convicted with four others in Chicago of crossing state lines to incite a riot, which broke out during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.

Since the announcement about the speaking engagement much controversy has developed in Holyoke. President of the college Dr. George E. Frost, Jr., is still considering whether he will honor the contract if he shows up to speak. The Monday night meeting of the Holyoke School Committee is scheduled to consider a request to use the High School auditorium for the event.

The editorial in the Phoenix, written by student editor Joseph J. McCarthy said “if Rubin is not allowed to speak, then all Rubin stands for is may be true.

Jerry Rubin is a radical, dangerous person. More important it is the political view of Rubin that makes him dangerous.

Young people all over America have suddenly found themselves at a political crossroads. Do they believe in what he stands for? Do they really believe that the Democratic system in America does not and can not work? This is why we strongly favor Rubin being allowed to speak in Holyoke.

The students at HCC must be given the opportunity to decide from first hand information of they believe in what Rubin stands for.

It is our believe that if the students of HCC are given this opportunity they will see that the politics of Rubin are completely unacceptable.

By allowing Rubin to speak the basic democratic principles of our government will be proven true. If a man sworn to the destruction of our system of government can speak under this system then his very words prove that democracy does exist.”

Rennie Davis, another member of the Chicago 7 and Leonard Weinglass, one of their defense counsel will speak at the University of Massachusetts on April 8. They will speak on “Chicago conspiracy trial and repression America,” according to Robert Lamb, press spokesman for the group.

Adapted from The Springfield Union, image is public domain from wiki commons.

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