UMass-Amherst cancels talk by former radical Raymond Levasseur

Posted Nov. 07, 2009, at 4:34 p.m.

AMHERST, Mass. — The University of Massachusetts in Amherst is canceling a talk by a former member of a radical group that had claimed responsibility for a string of bombings, including a 1976 Boston court blast that cost a man his leg.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries had invited Waldo, Maine, resident Raymond Luc Levasseur, a former leader of the United Freedom Front, to speak as part of a forum on social unrest in the late 1960s.

The invitation prompted an outcry from critics, including Gov. Deval Patrick, who praised the university’s decision to revoke the invitation.

Robert Cox, head of Special Collections and University Archives for the university, said on Thursday that continuing with the talk would have been counterproductive given the strong reaction.

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