Amherst Life Blog

Welcome to the Amherst Life Blog! Here we will be posting information on activities, events, arts, community concerns, local business, and a variety of other topics related to life in Amherst, Massachusetts. If you are new to the area and looking for housing, please check out our other blog too ------------>> Amherst Housing Blog ::.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Vigil for Jason Vassell Tonight in Southwest (UMASS)

Last post we re-framed the UMass hate crime/attack/stabbing incident from the perspective of Jason Vassell:

two white men kick in Mr. Vassell's window, insult him, verbally threaten him, call him "nigger", and break into his building. They proceed to beat him and break his nose. These are two racist, hateful individuals who have shown that they are not affriad to break a window, break into a building, and beat a man. And there are two racist attackers vs. one student. Two vs. One and they have already broken several laws without any remorse, and they proceed to cause bodily harm with the intent to murder -- just as the words they shouted proove. The victim, Jason Vassell, sees that the beating will not stop unless he defends himself in some way. He uses the only thing he has on him tht might prevent them from killing him. Though he acted in self-defence, he is the first one to be arrested and now Jason Vassell is on trial for attempted murder.

What can you do? Head to the Malcolm X center in Southwest Residential Area, tonight, Wedesday Feb 27th. If someone could post the time of the meeting as a comment that would be helpful.


  • At 2:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
    Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location: Malcolm X Cultural Center
    Street: (Below Berkshire DC of Southwest UMass Amherst)
    City/Town: Amherst, MA

    "This vigil will feature speakers, and we will walk in unison from the X to the site of the hate crime to build support for Justice for Jason and to continue to raise awareness about this issue.

    Background: On Sunday, February 3, 2008, Jason Vassell, a twenty-three year old African American student at UMass, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder and two counts of aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. These charges stem from an altercation that Jason had with two white men, who were on campus for no legitimate purpose and provoked the confrontation by smashing Jason's dorm window and repeatedly referring to him as a "nigger." Although Jason never left the dormitory, he was the only one charged at first. While one of the perpetrators, John Bowes, was recently charged with two hate crimes and disorderly conduct, the other white man, Jonathan Bosse, has not been charged as of yet."

  • At 6:01 PM , Blogger Michaelann Bewsee said...

    Wouldn't you think that the obvious question that the police would ask is, Who threw the first blow? The answer would then frame the police response, in terms of what charges are filed against whom. Instead, Jason gets charged before the others-- only makes sense if you see the charges as a racist act.

    In some states there are laws (not saying I agree with them entirely) that if someone breaks into your home, you have the right to use deadly force. Don't think we have such a law in Massachusetts, though.

  • At 6:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think the police charges ARE a racist act. And I think that some kind of statement by UMass Police should be issued. "We arrested Jason Vassell first because X,Y,Z. We realize, now knowing the facts, that the appropriate thing to do was arrest all three parties involved until we ould sort out the details"

    They should feel some pressure because they priveledged the story of two racist attackers over a victim.

    But to respond to the post: the two white guys' breaking and entering should automatically put Jason in a position of self-defence. They broke the law first, they threatened him, they attacked him. In some ways, he is protecting himself against two racist attackers, a brutal attack, AND a home invasion with "the intent to cause bodily harm".

  • At 9:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Everybody who is throwing out support for Jason Vassell should wake up!! He stabbed two people that he did not have to confront. He shopuld have called the police. He let them into the building and and a fist fight broke out and he used a "WEAPON". In most states thats Aggravated Assault or Attempted Murder.

  • At 9:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The two men DID NOT go in with intent to murder as did Jason. Jason was wrong and should be punished. He should have been the bigger person and should have called authorities before getting tough and bringing weapons into the situation.

  • At 10:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    How do you know they didn;t go in with intent to murder? They kicked in a window, started beating the shit out of an innocent man, and called him every word that people who have been killing black and brown folks for centuries have been using. How do you determine "intent" in that kind of a situation? Intent is a legal term, for one, so our disagreement would have to be in reference to a legal text.

  • At 10:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm responding to this comment:

    ---"Everybody who is throwing out support for Jason Vassell should wake up!! He stabbed two people that he did not have to confront. He shopuld have called the police. He let them into the building and and a fist fight broke out and he used a "WEAPON". In most states thats Aggravated Assault or Attempted Murder."
    Yes, he stabbed two people that were breaking several laws and that were beating him senseless. Two Versus One and remember that those two white men were using weapons also: fists are weapons.

    According to the police log, Jason did call the police (and they arrested him). They were too busy harassing black and brown people on Mass Ave. and didn't make it to the scene on time.

    So what the f**k do you do? Wait until they put you in a coma or kill you so that you can redial? you are going to call the police while two racist hicks from New Hampshire are breaking your bones (they broke his nose, you know)?

    Are you going to do that? Get real.

    And those two ignorant men BROKE INTO THE building. According to the police log, Jason didn't "let them in."

  • At 9:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Bowes and Bosse got what was coming to them.

    All I can say is that they're far from innocent. You wouldn't believe the things they've done BEFORE they were no longer minors.

    Make no mistake: John Bowes and John Bosse are violent bigots. They always have been, and they always will be.

  • At 8:26 PM , Blogger The Crew said...

    glad to see the posting

    Please inform us as to the latest developments

  • At 6:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Someone left a comment calling Bowes and his buddy "two racist hicks from New Hampshire." Bosse is from Milton, MA, and Bowes is from Milton also. His address is listed as Hancock, NH because his parents moved here about two years ago. He attended high school in NH for about one semester,but I don't believe he graduated. He then went back to hang with his buddies in Massachusetts. Bowes is not from NH, and please don't think that we are either racist or hicks. You can find this type everywhere, and probably less in NH than in most places.

    -New Hampshire Native

  • At 8:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I dont think people know about that -- mis-representing New Hampshire. Good post. most people think they are from new hampshire

  • At 8:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nah Jason stabbed them because he is a monkey that lost his cool of the word nigger.

  • At 3:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Same already discussed recently

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