Over 100 people protested second-year law student Jamie Marsicano’s ban from campus on Thursday. The protesters included law students, graduate students, undergraduates and members of the Chapel Hill community. They marched while chanting from the UNC School of Law to South Building, where they delivered a petition that they said had over 500 signatures.
Marsicano is facing a charge of domestic terrorism in Georgia in connection with a movement opposing the construction of a new police training facility. Based on a recommendation from the University’s Emergency Evaluation and Action Committee, Marsicano is barred from campus and has only been able to watch live streams of classes.
In early March, a large group of protesters stormed a police training facility construction site five miles southeast of downtown Atlanta. Videos show individuals setting fire to equipment and throwing fireworks at police officers.
Marsicano’s attorney, Bob Rubin, said his client was not among them and that Marsicano was arrested later at an outdoor concert affiliated with the movement.
“Jamie wasn't damaging property or injuring people or doing anything of the sort,” Rubin said.
Activists say the charges are being used to intimidate protesters from out of state. Of the 23 people charged with domestic terrorism, two are from Georgia.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation “stands behind the charges levied and believe they are justified based on elements of the crime committed,” according to a statement provided to The Daily Tar Heel.
Christi Hurt, the chief of staff to the chancellor, received the letters and listened to the protesters’ stories. She told protesters in South Building that their letters would be delivered and taken seriously.
“The students were very respectful and stated their case, and we appreciate our students and we appreciate their opinions,” Kamrhan Farwell, vice chancellor of communications, said.