Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hey-Hey, Ho-Ho

Plenty of media showed up to cover the protest march (but not a lot of protesters)

Under a picture perfect blue sky with weather warmer than we've seen for many months, about 100 UMass students and a gaggle of media showed up for the rally to protest "police brutality" at Saturday's Blarney Blowout.

 Marching past ye old Chapel

Even though 332 signed up on the Facebook event page saying they were going to attend.

Closing in on Whitmore

The protest march kicked off around the advertised 12:30 PM start time, and snaked towards Whitmore at a relatively brisk pace, all the while the crowd chanted "Hey-hey, ho-ho, police brutality has got to go."  Or something like that.

Chancellor Subbaswamy and John Kennedy, VC for University Relations, had wisely opted to be out of town today, so Associate Chancellor Susan Pearson was drafted to hear the demands of the group.  

Their first demand was a public apology from the Amherst Police Department for use of pepper ball guns that delivered OC ("oleoresin capsicum") gas into the unruly crowds when they failed to heed the order to disperse and started throwing objects at police and each other.  

The second demand was to meet with the Chancellor.  One of the statements that received a big round of applause was,  "The University should be defending students in the media not criticizing them."

Ms. Pearson accepted their demands, sort of, and said she would relay them to Chancellor Subbaswamy when he returns to campus.  Satisfied, the group then disbanded.  

All done by 1:15 PM, or around 45 minutes total.   Unlike the Blarney Blowout -- that started in the early morning and went late into the night on Saturday.


Dr. Ed said...

Sue Pearson is *still* there?

What on earth does the woman actually DO?

And Larry, 100 kids marching into Whitmore is a lot even without the dire threats being made against them.

Anonymous said...

Chancellor Subbaswamy and John Kennedy, VC for University Relations, had wisely opted to be out of town today

Rumor has it that Beacon Hill is p*ssed and their presence wasn't optional.

Rumor has it that a lot of legislators have heard enough to have them asking tough questions, and not about the students....

Anonymous said...

As a UMass employee, I really can't see why you think 100 students is "a lot". That seems like a typical number of students for the rallies I see in front of the Student Union. The only difference is this rally included some walking afterwards!

Anonymous said...

This "protest" is an embarrasment to all those protests that actually meant something. Fight for youre right to party (in a Beastie Boys voice)?!? Eff you

Anonymous said...

How can you expect students to show up to protest, when anytime they gather in large groups it's considered a "riot". Or maybe because they are busy working on their academics during a weekday after a fun weekend. Shame on you Larry for trying to put down a group of young adults standing up for their rights.

Anonymous said...

honestly Larry Kelley, your journalism is incredibly biased against the UMass students. if there was no UMass, your town wouldn't be here and you wouldn't have a 'job.'

Anonymous said...

I could obviously put this on any of the past few blog posts, figured I'd go with the shortest one. It's an Instagram vid, so I've no idea if anyone can see it, so I guess let me know

It's from last years blowout, but obviously similar to this year. Exactly why police HAD to do what they did and I'm happy they stopped it. Note, this kid was hurt for days.


Larry Kelley said...

Yeah I posted a snip of a young lady being purposely hit in the face with a beer can thrown with malicious intent (this year's Blarney)

Anonymous said...

"when anytime they gather in large groups it's considered a "riot""

only when they riot. name one instance otherwise

Anonymous said...

3/11 at 3:14
Really? Supporting young adult for standing up for their rights is important. However, there is reasonableness threshold. Who stood up for the rights of the community members and neighbors near these parties? The Amherst Police Department did. Have you considered how our community was less safe because the student behaviors and how the emergency services were over taxed? We already know APD and AFD need more resources, so this type of additional drain makes no sense. Hopefully nobody was in need of assistance when they were dealing with these "young adults" were partying it up!

Anonymous said...

Anon March 11 - 2:21
Cut with the rumors..what are you saying and who is saying it...you??

Anonymous said...

When you think about the great causes that students all over the Valley over the decades have stuck their necks out about, and then you see this: it's utterly without content. It seems to be only about the freedom to roam around town in large crowds, creating an uproar, stopping traffic, frightening people, damaging property, diverting public safety resources from other parts of town, affecting the readiness to respond to people in need. Just what is the vision of a better world that is contained in that?

Where did student idealism go? And what happened to the courage and decency to care, to speak out for, and to work for other people, people other than drunken, self-involved students? Is this really the best use of your precious time as a college student, time that will be gone before you know it?

Decades from now, you're going to be scratching your head, saying, "Boy, were we stupid."

Instability gets them paid said...

"Eff you"

F who?

The hypocritical, completely ethically bankrupt "liberal" social experiment brainwash machine-ers, driving student insanity for a friggan paycheck?

Who've been successively and successfully "burning out" (like that P.O.S. Abby Hoffman)for decades

because eventually even they can't own the ~failure~ they've inspired?

Is that who we're talking to?


-Squeaky Squeaks



Anonymous said...

How can you justify getting liquored up en masse, resulting in multiple hospitalizations, when you are clearly tying up public safety resources for those who are suffering heart attacks, etc. elsewhere in the area and thereby endangering the lives of others?

How can you get all self-righteous demanding apologies from all over in the face of that?

Anonymous said...


1. "Abbie"

2. http://blogs.gonomad.com/wp-content/blogpics/roundworldphoto/abby-hoffman-766477-756535.jpg


Anonymous said...

Headline says it all.


Larry Kelley said...

Or the headline could also read:
"Three times as many UMass students arrested this year at Blarney Blowout compared to last year".

Although that would be a tad wordy for a headline.

Anonymous said...

Where has the UMass police chief been in all this? I haven't seen or heard a word from him.

The Juggernaut said...

Yes Larry. With your headline logic, as police chief, you would rather see a jump in crime from 50 to 100 than 1 to 3.

The fact is that most of these kids weren't from UMass. Amherst and Hampshire need to step up and contribute now that these figures are out. And all participants should be expelled.

Dr. Ed said...

I notice you aren't posting any of the links to the police brutality -- including one that I think should result in an officer being arrested. Reckless endangerment and destruction of property being the charges that come to mind -- and the video shows it all..

But you won't....

Larry Kelley said...

Everybody is free to start their own blog and post whatever they please.

Anonymous said...

Everyone free to walk with the state troopers too? I think not -- or how do you justify that one?

Seriously, why isn't it a violation of the state ethics laws -- you *are* an elected official and you are benefiting from a privilege that other bloggers can't have.

Larry Kelley said...


Anonymous said...

Dear Larry Kelley,
I read your blog the other day about the Blarney Blowout and was intrigued at your harsh criticism of the UMass students' reaction. I have to ask you a simple question...do you write your "blog" from a tent in the woods? Clearly this isn't the case because the garbage you type miraculously appears on the internet. Anybody with this newfangled technology has seen the videos of kids getting pepper sprayed through their windows or beaten to a pulp as they were WALKING AWAY and knows that 60% (you're probably slow, that means more than half in dumbass-anese) of the kids that got arrested didn't even go to this school. The fact that you completely ignored these facts shows your utter disregard for journalistic integrity and you should be ashamed of yourself. Now I am in no way supporting the rowdy behavior that did occur and have the utmost respect for law enforcement, I simply feel that drinking a beer on your porch doesn't warrant a rubber bullet in the ass. The protest was not meant to support kids being stupid or fighting the police, it was a call for REASONABLE reforms. How novel a concept is it that the university works with its students instead of against them? Increasing police presence for events like this does not work. It will NEVER work because it has NEVER worked. As Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. If you want to tame the zoo stop treating these students like animals. In conclusion, you're a scumbag.
Robert Deters
PS- Stop hiding behind your keyboard and trolling the University that allows your town to exist and the students that will someday pay for your social security. If you'd like to publicly debate any of this, I am 100% down, name the time and place.

Anonymous said...

Nothing warms the cockles of my 21 year old heart than the thought of a 'Larry Kelley has finally kicked the bucket' day drink, attended by a few thousand college kids and 40 or so of Amherst's finest

I promise I will shotgun a cheap beer at the intersection of fearing and North Pleasant in your honor

Kurt Geryk said...

I wondered why they didn't consider Larry's presence there and so close among them a potential detriment to their aims and goals, and to their and the kids' safety, and why they didn't order him to at least stay back and not walk into the fray with them... he is untrained in the tactics they were about to employ, and he could have become a destabilizing factor. (Larry admitted online and in writing that he "almost kicked" a party participant in the--excuse me, his words--"balls", which of course would have resulted in another arrest for assault and battery on their hands.)

Kurt Geryk

Kurt Geryk said...

And of course another facet to Larry's flagrant presence among them is that some of the kids might have recognized him, which could have triggered even more potentially lethal projectiles headed in his/their direction.

Kurt Geryk

Larry Kelley said...


40 years ago when I first strapped on my black belt I swore an oath:

“I come to you with only Karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong; then here are my weapons, Karate, my empty hands.”

And over the past 40 years -- as combative as I am -- I have never violated that oath; in other words I have never thrown a punch or kick outside the sporting arena.

The incident you refer to was when Chief Livingstone had sprinted over to assist a fellow officer restrain a youth face down in the snow directly in front of the Frat House, which was ground zero for the riot.

Both officers had their backs to the crowd and one in the crowd looked like he was about to intervene.

So methinks covering the back of a police officer does not violate my oath -- either as a martial artist, or journalist for that matter.

And since you read my Facebook page so closely I hope you noticed a highly regarded UMass Journo professor say to blame Larry for shining a light on these activities (which I have done for many years) is like blaming Woodward and Berstein for Watergate.

Kurt Geryk said...

Once AGAIN... I have not cast any blame on you. I'm really not sure what you are referring to or where you got that idea.

I still wonder why your close proximity to the cops as they marched toward the crowd was not considered a detriment to their goal, you could have easily gotten in their way, not being trained in the tactics they were employing. And thank goodness you did not kick the kid who you thought "looked like he was about to intervene" (you're not trained to make that sort of determination either,) which, of course, would have resulted in your arrest and likely jail time.

Kurt Geryk

Anonymous said...


You are no Woodward and Bernstein...a far cry!

Larry Kelley said...


A rather large component of martial arts training is where and when you can use your hard won skills.

I have over 40 years experience.

The same can be said for a police officer. Chief Livingstone has 37 years experience serving the town of Amherst (5 of them as Chief) in public safety.

And we were BOTH on the scene for the major disturbance that closed down North Pleasant Street for 15-20 minutes.

Question my credibility if you wish, but are you really questioning Chief Livingstone's on-the-ground assessment of the situation?

We both STRONGLY agree the use of force put forth that day was justifiable.

And if I took out some kid attacking a police officer (or an innocent civilian) I can assure you any officer in the middle of that mayhem would not have arrested me.

More likely, they would have thanked me.

Anonymous said...

Waa! Waa! Students protesting the police response to a riot of 4000 drunken 20 year olds. Clearly you are the children of Americas middle class. Go home to mommy and cry to her because I'm sure she is the only one who gives a shit. Get an education and get the hell out. Go home and puke and piss all over your town where the people who know you can give you feedback on such performances.

Better yet. Keep it up and get a nice 2-3 year tour of jail from the other side of the bars.

Pathetic little shits..

Kurt Geryk said...

Yes, I think allowing a 60 year old resident with a limp and wearing no protective gear to march with the tactically trained, riot-gear clad police into what you describe as chaos and mayhem might have been an error in judgement. You seem to believe that your role there was akin to an embedded journalist in a war zone, or that you have the right to be some kind of Billy Jack style vigilante here in our town, who would deserve no recourse for violent actions. You're not a cop, Larry, you're a stay-at-home dad and a blogger. If you had kicked the kid "in the balls" like you said you almost did, and the cops there thanked you rather than arrested you, I would have considered that a dereliction of their duty. A Martial Arts background doesn't give you any more right to commit assault and battery than any others of us.

You question the judgement of highly trained personnel in the schools, who are "on the ground", and also the judgement of those highly trained in town government and in business, every day. And you consider our AFD and APD personnel and leadership's decisions and actions beyond reproach. Plainly and simply a double standard and pure hypocrisy. Beyond that you resort to petty name-calling of town personnel.

Kurt Geryk

Larry Kelley said...

Actually Kurt, I'm only 59.

shannon said...

glad to see someone actually trying to stick up and advocate for themselves. i would love the amherst residence to try to experience "the big city" (anywhere where there is actually *gasp* no farms. students are a lot more unruly. southern school are a whole nother story. they're in towns much like ours and they deal with a lot crazier parties. everyone needs to chill out.

Larry Kelley said...

With a spokesperson like you ...