Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, released the following in response to police arrests of University of Massachusetts Amherst demonstrators:  

“While other campuses across the country have engaged demonstrators in productive dialogue, we are highly concerned that University of Massachusetts Amherst leaders chose to invite armed police into a campus protest environment. Reports that police may have attempted to shield their activity from press and legal observers raise additional concerns about press freedom and transparency, which are essential to accountability. 

“Last night in Amherst, and events on campuses across the country, make clear: When universities choose to involve police in nonviolent demonstrations, it escalates tensions and creates unacceptable safety risks for all students, faculty, and community members. Campus administrators have an obligation to protect students’ safety on campus; at the same time, they must take all necessary measures to protect students’ right to protest. Calling heavily armed police on student political expression is an inherently dangerous choice. 

“With protests ongoing, including at Harvard and MIT, the ACLU continues to urge campus officials and police to show restraint and engage in dialogue and other nonviolent approaches – not force.”  

Those who believe their rights of free speech or of the press were adversely affected by last night’s events can contact the ACLU of Massachusetts at

For questions regarding students' rights on public and private college campuses, go to: 

For more information about the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Free Expression Project, go to: