BOSTON -- Saying her goal is to prevent a return to the blacklisting policies of the 1950s, actress Vanessa Redgrave, outspoken in her defense of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Tuesday defended her right to work no matter what her political beliefs might be.
Miss Redgrave said at a news conference she was making a 'strong, proud stand for human rights.' She claimed a recent decision to cancel her scheduled performance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra could be 'a return to the blacklist.'
'People have a right to disagree with my views. I have every right to express my views,' she said.
Miss Redgrave was scheduled to narrate Igor Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex' with the orchestra this week. The performance was canceled by the orchestra for 'circumstances beyond their reasonable control.'
The actress plans a breach of contract suit against the orchestra and is organizing a letter-writing campaign among performers and artists, asking Boston Symphony General Manager Thomas Morris to reschedule the performance as a 'solemn duty to defend the right to work as an artist.'
Caroline Smedvig, director of promotion for the orchestra, said the organization would have no further comment other than its inital statement the performance was canceled with 'reluctance.'
Miss Redgrave charged political pressure was placed on the orchestra to cancel the show. She said she 'did not know' where the pressure came from and was 'not entitled to surmise.'
She called on the orchestra to reveal the source of the pressure.
Miss Redgrave says she has been threatened by several 'Zionist' groups in the past, including the Jewish Defense League and the B'Nai Brith.
She defended her support of the PLO as the sole voice for the Palestinian cause. She said no 'just and right solution' to the Mideast problem could come without talks involving the PLO.
At the same time, she said she was 'totally opposed to terrorism, no matter where it comes from.'