Protesters face possible punishment at U. of Massachusetts

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Last year an anti-war and counter-recruitment group called CAMEO at the University of Texas was singled out and penalized for supposedly violating some rules on the presence of non-students on campus when it invited Cindy Sheehan to speak at an event. The group was fined and essentially barred from activity for all of last semester. It looks like the same kind of thing could happen in Massachusetts. From the Amherst Bulletin:

University of Massachusetts students could face penalties over an anti-war protest at a campus job fair Feb. 15.

About 25 members of the student group UMass AntiWar Coalition formed a picket line in front of the Reserve Officers Training Corps recruitment booth during a Summer Co-op and Internship Opportunities Fair in the Campus Center.

[…]

Jackson decried the complaint against the coalition and said he was unaware of any member of the group taking the list. “We didn’t obstruct recruitment, we merely formed a picket line. We did not keep people from talking to recruiters.

“Clearly, any individual’s behavior does not represent the policies and wishes of the AntiWar Coalition,” Jackson said, when asked about the missing list.

Under the Student Code of Conduct’s rules on picketing, students are prohibited from disrupting class work or other university business or invading the rights of others. Students are barred from blocking a person’s mobility and cannot interfere with the freedom of speech of another individual. Violations of the code may lead to expulsion or a lesser sanction.

Jackson said the coalition talked to students and recruiters about military careers. He said the group was trying to counter military recruitment efforts and “misinformation” provided by recruiters with information about “what really happens” when a person joins the military.

[…]

Despite the complaint, the AntiWar Coalition will continue to protest military recruitment on campus.

“Wherever there are recruiters on campus we are going to actively oppose these representatives and ask them to leave. It’s what we’ve done in the past and what we’ll do in the future,” Jackson said.

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