Writer Terry Tempest Williams barred from speaking on Florida campus

Renowned author and wilderness activist Terry Tempest Williams is touring the country to promote her new book, “The Open Space of Democracy.” Given the subject, it’s a rather pointed irony that the board of trustees of Florida Gulf Coast University voted 11 to 1 to prohibit Williams from speaking at a convocation, unhappy with statements in her book lamenting the Bush administration’s environmental policies and saying that her speech would lack “balance.” All 11 of those who voted against her, including university President William Merwin, were appointed by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), and Merwin has given money to the Bush/Cheney campaign. Oh, and Vice President Dick Cheney is holding a campaign rally on the university campus this Thursday. Williams discusses this unique interpretation of balance in a series of reports from the road — in Dispatches, on the Grist Magazine website.