After being dis-invited upon pressure from Governor Deval Patrick and then re-invited by a faculty group, Ray Luc Levasseur is now stopped from speaking at The University of Massachusetts – Amherst because his parole board refused to let him leave Maine.
The parole board has not given any reasons for this decision, but two facts make us suspect it was related to the controversy about his appearance:
One, Levasseur has spoken at out of state university campuses before, without any trouble from the parole board. And, two, Arnie Larson, president of the Massachusetts State Fraternal Order of Police told the media that local police forces put pressure on Levasseur’s parole officer and the commission to prevent his appearance. He was quoted as saying: ‘‘We reached out to people in the Justice Department and educated them about our passion here and why this individual should be held to the rules of his probation and not be allowed to leave the State of Maine, and they followed through on it.’’
Is the parole board helping police groups silence speech they don’t like on campus? What do you think?