ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Students at the University of Michigan stormed the administration building in Ann Arbor with a message for the school’s president.
Pro-Palestinian protesters made their way to the administration building on Friday (Nov. 17) to reach the president’s office with a message about the impact they were feeling from the war in Israel.
But when Ann Arbor police got in the way, the protestors pushed through and made it into the building.
U of M students breached the Alexander G. Ruthven building in what police say were locked doors of the university’s administration offices.
In a violent wave, officials say pro-Palestinian protestors pushed, shoved, grabbed, and pulled their way past security and police in a violent surge to get inside.
People were still working in the building around 3:40 p.m. in what police say was a time when everyone must be on guard for active shooters. Some employees see a mass of people forcing their way into a building and many set off panic alarms.
The Jewish Voice for Peace UMich posted to social media showing protesters taking over the Rotunda with their sights set on getting into the university president’s office.
Once protestors tried to take over the building, crowding the Rotunda and occupying offices, the goal was to get inside the university president’s office, and that is precisely what they did.
U of M police called for mutual aid as they were concerned that people would get hurt, causing police to respond to the building from all over the area.
Pro-Palestinian protester Ed Trager, who is a Michigan Medicine employee, says the conflict has impacted members of his family in that region.
It was essential for him to protest any U of M ties to Israel, and he did see the first violent surge of protestors.
“I remember asking and saying to one of the police officers, ‘If you just let the students in, it is a peaceful protest,’ but they did not want any more people into the building, and students were trying to force their way into the building.”
Protesters were still inside the building chanting and waving signs that read, “From the river and to the sea,” before police were given citations to anybody who would not leave.