UNC Law students organize ‘walkout’ supporting student charged with domestic terrorism 

Students march across the campus of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on Thursday, April 13, 2023, to protest school officials' decision to ban a law student from school grounds. Jamie Marsicano was arrested last month on a domestic terrorism charge in Georgia. (Yasmin Khoedaei via AP)

CHAPEL HILL — Students at the University of North Carolina School of Law organized a ‘walkout’ over the school’s apparent decision to remove Jamie Marsicano from the school. 

Booking photo of James Marsicano via Atlanta Police Department

Marsicano, who most recently was arrested and charged with domestic terrorism in March for his role at an anti-law enforcement riot in Atlanta, has a lengthy arrest record in violent left-wing activism. He has been arrested five times around Mecklenburg County in the past several years. 


Marsicano was booked under the name “James Marsicana” according to NewsNation and identifies as a “white trans femme organizer” online. 

A petition filed by some of the students confirms that Marsicano was barred from campus following his arrest in connection with the Atlanta riot. 

“We, the undersigned, are writing in response to the EEAC’s recommendation, and Chancellor Guskiewicz’s subsequent order, barring our dear classmate, friend, and colleague, Jamie Marsicano, from UNC’s campus. We object to the EEAC committee’s findings and ask that you consider our voices as evidence in reconsidering Jamie’s ability to come to campus and attend classes in person,” the petition read. 

On Thursday, April 13, more than 100 protesters marched across the school’s campus chanting, “Jamie’s not in class! We are not in class!” The demonstrators then entered an administrative building and read aloud an open letter urging university officials to reverse the decision against Marsicano, the Associated Press reported. 

The students also added that they want Marsicano be allowed to finish the semester and return to in-person classes with no conditions. 

A student at the law school who wants Marsicano back on campus said he is barred from attending in-person classes or participating virtually via Zoom, but can watch livestream feeds of classes. 

The law school has promoted Marsicano on their dean’s follow list, perhaps in part due to his status as the son of well-known Charlotte philanthropist Michael Marsicano. The elder Marsicano was the long-time leader of the Foundation for the Carolinas and is currently leading Charlotte mayor Vi Lyles’ $250 million ‘Racial Equity Initiative.’ 

Atlanta Police said about the riot on March 5 the group of “violent agitators” used the cover of a peaceful protest of the proposed Atlanta Public Safety Training Center to conduct a coordinated attack on construction equipment and police officers. They changed into black clothing and entered the construction area and began to throw large rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks at police officers. 

The agitators destroyed multiple pieces of construction equipment by fire and vandalism. 

According to documents obtained by North State Journal the decision to remove Marsicano from the rests with the university’s top leadership including Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. 

Marsicano appears to have been subject to the university’s Emergency Evaluation and Action Committee, which acts in emergency situations in connection with student behaviors “which require a faster response than the student judicial system’s procedures can provide.” 

Made up of members of university leadership including the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the EEAC holds jurisdiction in five cases student behavior: Applicants for admission or readmission with records of violence or academic dishonesty; applicants who have been convicted of a crime involving assaultive or felonious behavior or who has a record of academic dishonesty; students whose behavior makes them a threat; students charged with violent crime; students charged with a violation of university drug policies; and students whose behavior makes them a danger to themselves. 

The committee may use any relevant information about the behavior of a student or applicant or about criminal charges that have been brought against them. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply. The information includes, but it not limited to copies of police records and court documents, written summaries of information written statements and oral testimony. 

UNC Chapel Hill has not responded to requests for public records or commented on the matter, citing the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. 

Marsicano’s attorney told the Associated Press that the charges are baseless and local prosecutors do not have evidence “directly tying” Marsicano to the scene. 

“To be clear, we do not have video surveillance of (Marsicano) on the scene or running from the scene,” prosecutor Lance Cross said during a hearing last month at which Marsicano was granted a $25,000 bond. Prosecutors had called for Marsicano to be denied bond, saying he is an “anarchist” who was wearing muddy, black clothing and had been arrested in connection with protests dating back to 2016 according to one report. 

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Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected].