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Brown Protest Targets Ad

March 18, 2001

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Friday’s edition of Brown University’s student newspaper made it to newsstands Saturday, a day late and protected by campus police because of bitter protests over an advertisement.

The paid advertisement denouncing reparations for slavery ran once, on Tuesday, in the Brown Daily Herald. A coalition of mostly minority student organizations stole the newspaper’s entire press run Friday to show their anger.

``It’s not our place to decide which political views can be published in the paper,″ editor-in-chief Patrick Moos said. ``We want to publish everyone’s views.″

In a statement Saturday, Brown Interim President Sheila Blumstein backed the paper’s decision to run the ad and said the theft would be investigated. She urged students to avoid a greater confrontation.

``The most effective response to ideas _ even to ideas that may be deeply offensive _ is not to silence them or intimidate those who espouse or publish them, but rather to develop effective opposing arguments through wider civil discourse,″ she said.

The full-page advertisement is headlined, ``Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery is a Bad Idea and Racist Too.″ Its design is similar to the Bill of Rights, and it states that black Americans owe the United States more than it owes them.

The ad by conservative theorist David Horowitz was rejected by most of the 34 school papers to which it was sent, including Harvard, Columbia and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The University of California at Berkeley newspaper ran it last month, but later published an apology saying it had been used as ``an inadvertent vehicle of bigotry.″ University of California at Davis also ran it and apologized.

At a meeting Thursday with the student coalition, the paper’s management said it would not give the groups a free page of advertising as demanded, and also refused a request to donate the $725 paid by Horowitz to a campus minority fund.

The next day, angered students began removing the free paper from newsstands. They also went to the newspaper’s office to try to take the remaining 100 copies of the paper but were rebuffed.

That prompted the paper to seek help from police in distributing reprinted editions of the paper on Saturday.

The student coalition said Saturday it would continue its protests until the Daily Herald met its demands or ``renounces its nominal affiliation with the University.″

The newspaper receives no funding from the university.

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