Last week the University of Southern Maine (USM) ordered the dismantling of an a


Rick Wormwood


Portland Phoenix






Last week the University of Southern Maine (USM) ordered the dismantling of an art exhibit by a self-described political prisoner seven days into its scheduled seven-week run. The show included painting by Thomas William Manning who is serving a life sentence in federal prison for his role in a 1981 shootout that left a New Jersey state trooper dead. Maine's two largest police unions and the Maine Association of Chiefs of Police were joined by a New Jersey police union in calling for the closure of "Can't Jail the Spirit: Paintings by Political Prisoner Thomas Manning and Others." The exhibit was coordinated by the Portland victory Gardens Project with the help of Ray Luc Levasseur, a Brunswick resident who is a former federal inmate and one of Manning's co-defendants on charges of bombing government and corporate installations in the 1970s and 1980s. Richard Pattenaude, USM president, admitted that the exhibit would not have been agreed to by university official if they had done their homework. The Victory Gardens Project sees the dismantling as a way to limit free speech and opinions that the government does not approve of. With comments by Michael Shaughnessy, chairman of USM's art department; and Robert Schwartz, a former South Portland police chief.


University of Southern Maine, Art exhibitions, Maine Association of Chiefs of Police, Victory Gardens Project, Manning, Thomas, Levasseur, Raymond L

Full text is not available here. Please contact the Library for a copy of the article.