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I wrote to Dr. Brian Glyn Williams regarding the student who was grilled by Homeland Security for daring to attempt to read a book. His response made me realize how important it is for people to make their outrage public, and loud.

Dr. Williams gave me permission to post our exchange, which appears on the flip. Also, a few places to write, in support of UMass Dartmouth professors Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand. Please--you can help protect academic freedom in our country just by writing a quick note.

My note to Dr. Williams:
I read the article about the brouhaha over The Little Red Book this morning with great alarm, and have forwarded it to just about everyone I can think of.  I hope you will not allow this thuggish behavior on the part of our government to hamper your work in any way.  If we do not all resist, and all work together to shine as much light on this cockroach-like behavior as possible, it really will be the thin end of the wedge, and our intellectual freedom will continue to diminish day by day. Please let me and other concerned citizens know what we can do to help protect academic freedom. Best regards, MB, Los Angeles

His reply:

I cannot thank you enough for your words of support. They are more heartening than you can possibly imagine and they do give me the sort of courage I need to teach a class of this nature. Anything you can do to get the word out on the issue and garner support for educators such as myself who want to teach our students to honestly and critically explore the world not fear it is much appreciated. Thank you again for taking the time out to let me know that there are people such as yourself out there!

Dr. Brian Glyn Williams
Assoc. Professor of History
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Please send a letter to the editor of SouthCoastToday at and respond to the original article. You can also write to the administration of UMass Dartmouth via their Office of Public Affairs:

The office oversees media relations and publications, and works closely with the web development, alumni affairs, fundraising, admissions, and academic units to tell the UMass Dartmouth story in a manner that builds public and private support; and attracts talented faculty, students, and staff to campus.

John Hoey
Assistant to the Chancellor for Public Affairs
Office of the Chancellor

Originally posted to superba on Sun Dec 18, 2005 at 11:37 AM PST.

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