Gorbachev Speaks to Packed Crowd

10-26-05 - The former leader of the Soviet Union addressed a packed Kerr Center in Ada Tuesday night. Former U.S.S.R. President Mikhail Gorbachev spoke to more than 4,000 people on the campus of East Central University about his policies that helped end communist rule 20 years ago.

Many waited in line for more than an hour to hear Gorbachev speak. His message to those who waited was clear - never forget history. 20 years after he introduced his political policy of Perestroika, meaning government rebuilding, he says the same principals apply today.

“I've been thinking about the world lately and my conclusion is that we have not yet learned all the lessons of Perestroika and the lessons of the cold war and the consequences," said Mr. Gorbachev. He believes the number one way to a peaceful world is to fight poverty, saying, "Terrorism and extremism all come from poverty and other backgrounds.”

Gorbachev led the U.S.S.R. for nine years. A Russian professor at ECU helped raise the money to bring Gorbachev to Ada.