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Unions' letter to Interim Chancellor Newman – UMB Campus as police staging ground


Dear FSU Members,

The following letter was sent to Interim Chancellor Newman last night from five campus unions.

Dear Chancellor Newman,

It has come to our attention that the UMB campus was used as a staging area by city and state police forces yesterday (6/2), and then again today (6/3), in advance of area Black Lives Matter protests.  We have also learned that UMass Boston police were sent to police these protests.

Here is a first-hand account of what took place at the end of the Black Lives Matter protest on June 2:

Many of us were at the demonstration in Boston yesterday, and were frightened by what took place after it ended and people were leaving: numerous police officers (in cars, on bicycles, on foot, and on motorcycles) suddenly drove into the peaceful crowd for no reason, waving long batons around. I was particularly close to them when it happened (which is why I [Rachel Rubin] am the one drafting this email) and caught myself several times inserting myself between my daughter and the alarming police. Nothing happened—for one thing, a group of people held hands between the police and the crowd--and eventually they left, but many of us got the feeling that they were, in fact, trying to make something happen. Afterward, as you know, we learned that they were being trained on our campus—and while I was there, I noticed that one of them was riding a bicycle that had a UMass sign attached to it.

Could you confirm the exact nature of UMB involvement, and also outline how the decision was made – and by whom?

We join the Faculty Council in calling for an apology from campus administration and making a commitment to cease all use of our campus for police training purposes into the future.  Using our campus as a staging ground for police action – and sending our own campus police -- against Black Lives Matter protests is beyond tone deaf.  It’s reprehensible and must stop immediately.


Rachel Rubin, Bargaining Chair, DCU

Anneta Argyles, President, PSU

Janelle Quarles, President, CSU

Steve Striffler, President, FSU

Chris Whynacht, GEO