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Protestors occupy University of Michigan administrative building for nearly eight hours

Protestors occupied University of Michigan administrative building for nearly eight hours
Posted at 10:36 PM, Nov 17, 2023

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — Student protestors from the University of Michigan forced their way into the school’s administration building on Friday. They stayed inside for nearly eight hours.

They say they organized the protest because University President Santa Ono won’t meet with them in regards to their concerns about the Israel-Hamas war.

“We have tried contacting him through all possible means, we’re not just protesting just to protest,” said student Salma Hamamy. “We’re protesting for a goal.”

Hamamy was a least one of at least 200 students who went inside the building on Friday.

7 Action News spoke with Hamamy over the phone. She says students involved in this protest are from different organizations on campus.

“Our coalition at the moment is 54 student organizations,” Hamamy said. “It’s Palestinian students, Jewish students, Black students, Latin American students, every student you can imagine, United Asian American organization.”

Hamamy says the goal of the protest is to speak with President Ono about certain companies the university invests in.

“For the university to divest in companies that profit off of human rights violations that is unfolding on the Hasan population in Palestine,” said Hamamy.

Students were also protesting outside of the building.

“We’ve only been able to talk to lower people in administration and we felt that this is unfortunately the only way to make our voices heard,” said grad student Felipe Coimbra.

President Ono wasn’t inside the building at the time when the students came in. An official from the university says the students’ concerns have been very clearly communicated with President Ono.

The students who refused to leave the building were issued trespassing violations by police.