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The New Guard

University of Michigan Regent’s Home Targeted by Pro-Hamas Protester with List of Demands

By

Corey Walker

May 23, 2024

University of Michigan Regent Jordan Acker revealed on X that a pro-Palestine student protester approached his home in the early morning of May 15, bearing a list of demands.

 

Around 4:40 A.M., a masked intruder came to the door of my family’s home with a list of demands, including defunding the police. My three daughters were asleep in their beds, and thankfully unaware of what transpired,” Acker wrote. 

 

The regent—a publicly elected official that helps administer the University of Michigan—denounced the form of protest as a violent overreach.

 

“This form of protest is not peaceful. Public officials should not be subject to this sort of intimidating conduct, and this behavior is unacceptable from any Michigan community member, especially one led by someone who called for the death of people they disagree with,” Acker wrote. 

 

Student protesters trespassed on Acker’s property, placing fake corpses and erecting tents to signal their disapproval for the university’s approach to the Israel-Hamas war. The student activists accused Israel of committing genocide against the citizens of Gaza and requested that Acker and other regents support a full economic divestment and academic boycott of the Jewish state. 

 

Several student groups sympathetic to the Palestinian cause confirmed their participation in the demonstrations on social media: Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) at the University of Michigan, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) and Transparency, Accountability, Humanity, Reparations, Investment, Resistance (TAHRIR) Coalition. 

 

The University of Michigan Office of Public Affairs released a statement on May 15, condemning the protesters and arguing their demonstrations represented an “escalation” in tactics. 

 

“Going to an individual’s private residence is intimidating behavior and, in this instance, illegal trespassing. This kind of conduct is not protected speech; it’s dangerous and unacceptable,” the office wrote. 

 

The University of Michigan has found itself embroiled in controversy amid ongoing protests by students furious over the Israel-Hamas war. The students have accused the university of being complicit in Israel’s military operations in Gaza through their refusal to publicly call for an immediate ceasefire. 

 

Campuses across the country have been in an uproar over the Israel-Hamas war in the months following October 7th. In recent weeks, pro-Palestinian activists have set up encampments on university grounds to demand their universities issue statements condemning the Israeli state, divesting from Israel, and providing transparency into institutional finances.

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