Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
UMass Amherst seal
Activism of the 1980s Photograph Collection, 1985-1987
2 boxes (0.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: PH 012

Abstract:
During the academic year 1986-1987, UMass Amherst was awash in political turmoil, fueled in part by the US intervention in Central America. The arrival on campus of a CIA recruiting officer in November set off a string of demonstrations that attracted the support of activists Abbie Hoffman and Amy Carter, culminating in the occupation of the Whitmore Administration Building and later, Munson Hall. Among the many arrested, thirteen were brought to trial on charges of disorderly conduct, including Hoffman and Carter, all of whom were eventually acquitted.

The Collection contains 64 mounted photographs of marches, demonstrations, and protests in Amherst and Northampton, Mass., taken by UMass Amherst students Charles F. Carroll, Byrne Guarnotta, and Libby Hubbard. The photographs are a vivid record of campus and community activism, and particularly the mobilization against the CIA and American intervention in Central America, as well as the arrest and trial of Abbie Hoffman and Amy Carter.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Historical Note
Ban the CIA

Ban the CIA

During the academic year 1986-1987, three students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducted a year-long photographic documentation of political demonstrations and protests. Charles F. Carroll, Byrne Guarnotta, and Libby Hubbard captured images of marches ranging from a Take Back the Night march to rallies for gay rights and protests against racism, American support for the apartheid regime in South Africa, and nuclear weapons.

The most volatile point of protest during that year, however, centered on US policy in Central America, and particularly the CIA support of death squads and Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The arrival of a CIA recruiter on campus in November proved to be a flash point, drawing in other activists from throughout the region and, as tensions rose, mobilizing students on both the left and right.

On November 13, the Radical Student Union (RSU) organized a protest at the University Career Center where the CIA had planned to hold a "pre-interview information session." Although the RSU succeeded in forcing the recruiters to cancel the session, they learned the next morning that the interviews had actually been shifted to an undisclosed location elsewhere on campus. In response, a number of protesters marched on the office of Chancellor Joseph Duffey in the Whitmore Administration Building to complain of the University's complicity in dealing with the CIA. Finding the main entrance to Whitmore locked down, they tried several other entrances, eventually gaining admittance to the Affirmative Action office through an unlocked side door. Their efforts to reach the Chancellor were unavailing, and when University police were called in, eleven were placed under arrest for trespass.

The occupation of Whitmore, however, was only the beginning of troubles. Five days later, a group of students presented a set of demands to the administration, asking (among other things) that the University bar CIA recruiters from campus. As tensions mounted, long-time activist Abbie Hoffman phoned members of the RSU, offering to come to campus to hold a workshop and take part in the demonstrations. Amy Carter, daughter of President Jimmy Carter and then a sophomore at Brown University, also came. When the protesters received what they regarded as a tepid and inadequate response to their demands, a crowd of approximately 700 protesters gathered, including Hoffman and Carter, and rallied in front of the Student Union Building before marching on Whitmore. Confronted by a police barricade, approximately 150 members of the crowd broke off and entered adjacent Munson Hall, occupying it for several hours. By the evening, state police in riot gear were called in, and wielding batons and dogs, they began removing the protesters one by one. As the crowd outside chanted "The whole world is watching," 51 were taken under arrest, thirteen of whom -- including Hoffman (who was inside Munson) and Carter (who was outside) -- were singled out and charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. Throughout, smaller groups right wing counter-protesters squared off against the much larger anti-CIA crowd, complaining that denying access to the recruiters was unpatriotic and an infringement on their rights.

In April 1987, the defendants were tried in the Hampshire County Court House in Northampton. The defense team, led by Leonard Weinglass, raised a "necessity defense" based on provisions in Commonwealth law that exonerate those charged with crimes if they reasonably believed that their actions would prevent the "clear and immediate threat" of greater harm. Judge Richard F. Connon allowed the defense and admitted the testimony of a number of prominent left-wing political figures who provided testimony on the CIA's support for death squads, assassinations, and other illegal activities. The defense succeeded. Although it is unclear whether necessity held greater sway among jurors than the belief that disorderly conduct did not apply, the jury's exoneration of the defendants was widely understood as a rebuke to the CIA and to University policy.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Activism in the 1980s Collection contains 64 mounted photographs depicting marches, demonstrations, and protests in Amherst and Northampton, Mass. Taken by Charles F. Carroll, Byrne Guarnotta, and Libby Hubbard, all UMass Amherst students, the photographs are a vivid record of campus and community activism in the mid-1980s, and especially the mobilization against the CIA and American intervention in Central America and the arrest and trial of Amy Carter and Abbie Hoffman.

Although the protests against the CIA and American policy in Central America predominate, the collection also includes images of events ranging from a Take Back the Night march to rallies for gay rights and protests against racism, American support for the apartheid regime in South Africa, and nuclear weapons. Seven photographs depict right wing counter-demonstrators protesting at the trial of Carter and Hoffman.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Activism of the 1980s Photograph Collection (PH 012). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired Aug. 12, 1999.

Processing Information

Processed by Dexter Haven, 2008.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Language
English

Contents List
CIA protests at UMass Amherst
1986-1987

Box
1. Crowd of protesters at University Career Center, with anti-CIA placard
1986 November

Box
2. Graffiti on wall outside University Gallery reading "CIA out of UMass"
1986 November

Box
3. Interior shot of student occupation of Munson Hall
1986 November

Box
4. Piles of student newspaper The Minutemen, with headline "Does Freedom Reign? CIA. . . where your opinions are as diverse as your interests"
1986 November

Box
5. Rally on lawn with banners reading "CIA out of UMass" and "Students united will never be defeated"
1986 November

Box
6. Student being carried off, covered with fake blood
1986 November?

Box
7. Student march toward Whitmore Hall. Passing by Herter Hall
1986 November

Box
8. Student occupation of Munson Hall, with banner reading "Covert Inhuman Atrocities"
1986 November

Box
9. Students arrested and dragged off by police
1986 November

Box
10. Students occupying Munson Hall, Climbing in second story window
1986 November

Box
11. Throng of protesters on UMass campus, one waving a large American flag
1986 November

Box
12. Carroll, Charles F., "Students for a Socially Responsible University -- Radical Student Union. Amy Carter, CIA on Trial" [Police in riot gear and dogs staging by UMass buses]
1986 November

Box

Police in riot gear and dogs staging by UMass buses

Police in riot gear and dogs staging by UMass buses

13. Carroll, Charles F., Police in riot gear and dogs staging by UMass buses
1986 November

Box
14. Altered sign in unidentified building reading "CIA no" and "Justice and freedom" with shaving cream graffiti of anarchist A and "No way"
1986 November

Box
15. Police and onlookers
ca.1986 November?

Box
16. Unidentified protesters in office, one wearing t-shirt "Nicaragua libre"
1986

Box
17. "CIA on campus student protest" [meeting and panel discussion in Campus Center]
1987

Box
18. Hubbard, Libby, "Students for a Socially Responsible University (Radical Student Union)" [Chalk outlines of people on sidewalk with words Draper and Bombs]
1987

Box
19. "Students protest CIA" by University Art Gallery
1987

Box

Students protest CIA

Students protest CIA

20. "Students protest" [speaker in front of crowd holding bullhorn, wearing t-shirt reading "Put the CIA on trial"
1987

Box
21. Carroll, Charles F., "Students take over forum"
1987

Box
22. Carroll, Charles F., "Students take over forum"
1987

Box
23. Anti-CIA skit at Student Union Art Gallery
1987

Box
24. Elderly man carrying placard reading "Not a penny to the Contra cutthroats," standing by pond and markers for victims of Contra violence
1987

Box
25. Markers placed on lawn by pond commemorating victims of Contra violence
1987

Box
26. Protesters at Student Union with banner reading "Rafael Eduardo Garcia student assassinated April 14, 1987 in El Salvador. Stop CIA death squad crimes"
1987

Box
27. Hubbard, Libby, Protesters in front of Student Union Building with anti-CIA banners
1987

Box
28. Unidentified woman talking with crowd, man probably at student takeover of forum
1987

Box
CIA: Trial of Abbie Hoffman and Amy Carter
1986-1987

Box
29. Abbie Hoffman lying on floor, talking with students
1986 November

Box
30. Carroll, Charles F., Amy Carter at the microphone
1986 November

Box
31. Hubbard, Libby, Protester with sign reading "Ban the CIA not protesters" in front of Whitmore Building, UMass
1986 November

Box

Protester with sign reading "Ban the CIA not protesters"

Protester with sign reading "Ban the CIA not protesters"

32. Carroll, Charles F., "Abby in court"
1987 April

Box

View of courtroom, Northampton, with Abby Hoffman standing

33. Carroll, Charles F., "CIA Trial -- Abby"
1987 April

Box

Abby Hoffman and crowd in courtroom, Northampton

34. Carroll, Charles F., "CIA trial"
1987 April

Box

Amy Carter and students raising fists on steps of Northampton Courthouse and holding banner reading "On to Washington!" probably after trial

35. "Jay Allare -- Northampton CIA trial"
1987 April

Box
36. Group on steps of Northampton courthouse
1987 April

Box
37. "Amy Carter Victory over CIA"
1987 April

Box

Amy Carter hugging supporters in court room, Northampton

38. Carroll, Charles F., Anti-CIA protesters in Northampton with placards reading "CIA sponsors international terrorism;" "Nancy just say no to the CIA," and "Stockwell lies"
1987 April

Box
39. Guarnotta, Byrne, Amy Carter and Abbie Hoffman at press conference
1987

Box
40. Carroll, Charles F., Familiar man
1987

Box
41. Carroll, Charles F., Familiar woman
1987

Box
42. Carroll, Charles F., Firemen outside Hampshire County Courthouse
1987 April

Box
Other protests at UMass Amherst
1986-1987

Box
43. Carroll, Charles F., "Black students protest"
ca.1986-1987

Box
44. Carroll, Charles F., "Gay rights"
ca.1986-1987

Box

Banner in window of Machmer Hall(?) reading Lesbian Union

45. Hubbard, Libby, "Take back the night -- Women's movement"
ca.1986-1987

Box

Take back the night march

46. "US military recruitment on campus"
ca.1986-1987

Box
47. Night rally with placards reading "Fight racism" and "El Pueblo Unido"
ca.1986-1987

Box
48. Protesters occupying Whitmore Hall
ca.1986-1987

Box
49. Sign taped to door: "Students are now occupying Whitmore over the right to control student activities money"
ca.1986-1987

Box
50. Hubbard, Libby, Staged die-in beneath banner reading "Preparation for nuclear war is preparation for suicide"
ca.1986-1987

Box

Staged die in

Staged die in

51. Unidentified speaker
ca.1986-1987

Box
52. Unidentified student and official(?) seated at conference table
ca.1986-1987

Box
53. Woman greeted at door of Whitmore Hall by police officer and official
ca.1986-1987

Box
54. Protester in helmet and cape holding up "complaint form" before students (skit)
ca.1986-1987

Box
55. Unidentified woman in front of blackboard with tally of votes
ca.1986-1987

Box
Right wing counter-demonstrations
1986-1987

Box
56. Hubbard, Libby, Handbill posted on podium reading "Stop Communism a protest of the Soviet Union Sponsored by the UMass Republican Club"
ca.1985 October

Box
57. Hubbard, Libby, Banner on bus kiosk, Northampton, reading "Amy & Abbie came to UMass now it's time to kick their ass!"
ca.1987 April

Box
58. Hubbard, Libby, Crowd of right wing protesters carrying anti-Amy Carter and Abbie Hoffman placards, Northampton, American flag, and Ronald Reagan poster
ca.1987 April

Box
59. Hubbard, Libby, Protester standing by effigy of Abbie Hoffman dressed in Moscow University sweatshirt hanging from tree, Northampton Courthouse
ca.1987 April

Box
60. Hubbard, Libby, Banners hanging on building (possibly Beta Kappa Phi frat) reading "If you don't love American then leave!" and "CIA the American way, Beat it liberals"
ca.1987

Box
61. Hubbard, Libby, Protester with placed reading "Nuke Happy Valley"
ca.1987

Box

Nuke Happy Valley

Nuke Happy Valley

62. Carroll, Charles F., "Right students protest" [protesters in front of Student Union carrying signs "Student money is student money," "Student rights," "We give an inch they take our trust fund," and "Randy the Donut, Get the hole out of office"
ca.1987

Box
Anti-apartheid and disinvestment protests
1986-1987

Box
63. Sign altered in administrative offices to read Apartheid Office -- Vice Chancellor for South Africa -- Defeat Racism 4 love & peace
ca.1986-1987

Box
64. South African divestment march at UMass
ca.1986-1987

Box

Signs read "Embargo South Africa not Nicaragua," "Divest now," and "Ban apartheid"


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.)
  • Anti-apartheid movements--Massachusetts.
  • CIA on Trial Project (Amherst, Mass.)
  • Carter, Amy.
  • Central America--Foreign relations--United States.
  • Demonstrations--Massachusetts.
  • Hoffman, Abbie.
  • Northampton (Mass.)
  • Student movements.
  • United States--Foreign relations--Central America.
  • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

Contributors
  • Carroll, Charles F.
  • Guarnotta, Byrne.
  • Hubbard, Libby.
  • Radical Student Union.
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Genre terms
  • Photographs.


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search