The University of Massachusetts Amherst sparked outrage this week among law enforcement officers from as far away as New Jersey by inviting to campus members of the United Freedom Federation, a radical group that was responsible for anti-government bombings and other violence in the 1970s and 1980s. It was a member of the UFF who shot and killed New Jersey State Trooper Philip Lamonaco during a traffic stop just before Christmas of 1981.
The event, “The Great Western Massachusetts Sedition Trial: Twenty Years Later,” was originally canceled by the University, but several professors, citing free speech, rescheduled the colloquium. Raymond Luc Levasseur, who was tried and acquitted of sedition charges in 1989, had been invited to speak, but the U.S. Parole Commission prohibited him from leaving the state of Maine. His ex-wife, Pat Levasseur, attended on his behalf.
On hand to protest her appearance were a few hundred police officers, law enforcement supporters and the family of Trooper Lamonaco — his wife, Donna, daughter, Sarah, and son, Michael, who is following in his father’s footsteps as a New Jersey State Trooper. They were joined by students holding signs decrying Levasseur and honoring the fallen trooper.
The UMass Police department presented the Lamonaco family with a donation of $2,000 to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in honor of Trooper Lamonaco. The donation represented the combined wages earned by the police officers who provided security at the controversial event.
Read more about the protest at http://www.gazettenet.com/2009/11/13/outraged-police-rally-campus.