Vandals rip down rainbow flags, smash lights at Ann Arbor gay bar
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Aut Bar has been in Ann Arbor for 22 years. Overnight, vandals targeted the bar’s patio, tearing down rainbow flags, shattering lights and destroying a neighboring building’s signs.
Aut sits in Braun Court, which has served as a gathering spot for the LGBTQ community.
"It's a community gathering spot not just for gays, but friends of gays," Susan Fecteau said. "This felt like an assault and a direct attack on us to make us feel not safe."
Fecteau and friends made the conscious decision to dine here Friday night to show support.
The monetary damage wasn't great, about $300 worth, but it left the LGBTQ community feeling violated.
"All of these streamers were torn down and the wires with the lights, which pulled down the fascia board on one of the other buildings," co-owner Keith Orr said.
Police came out to investigate. This is the fourth time in recent weeks that minority communities have been the targets of vandals. Orr put what happened on social media Friday morning and it went viral.
"I'm smiling here because, while this morning I felt very violated and angry, over the course of the day there has just been an outpouring of support,” he said.
Orr didn't need monetary help but friends put together a GoFundMe effort anyway. It's already raised more than $3,000. That money will go to the other businesses in Braun Court, including the Common Language Bookstore and the Jim Toy Community Center, two businesses that serve the LGBT community.
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