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U-M board chair: Body bag protest at my home over Israel is ‘unacceptable’

U-M student protesters set up tents and fake body bags outside the home of board chair Sarah Hubbard (Courtesy photo by Sarah Hubbard)
  • Protesters marched at University of Michigan Regent Sarah Hubbard’s home Wednesday morning demanding the school ‘divest’ from Israel
  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators have previously held rallies and disrupted graduation events at U-M
  • No arrests were made, but police responded, and Hubbard called the home protest ‘unacceptable’

May 21: Four arrests as University of Michigan breaks up pro-Palestinian encampment

Student protesters from the University of Michigan took their anti-war fight directly to school officials on Wednesday, taping demands to the doors of their homes and placing fake body bags in the yard of the board chair. 

A video posted online by protesters showed people marching in a half-circle driveway at the Lansing-area home of U-M Board of Regents Chair Sarah Hubbard, who said local police responded but did not make any arrests. 

Several tents were placed in her front lawn, along with what appeared to be fake body bags covered in artificial blood and a broken baby crib.


"Regent Hubbard you can't hide, you are funding genocide," the students chanted, according to the video. 


The student coalition is calling on the university to “divest” from any funds that they say help support Israel’s war against Hamas and the death of Palestinians.

The university has resisted calls to do so.

U-M students have demonstrated for months with rallies, speaking at board meetings and setting up a tent encampment on the university’s diag. Wednesday’s demonstration appeared to be an escalation. 

“Protesting at a public official’s private residence is unacceptable and will not move their cause forward in a satisfactory manner,” Hubbard told Bridge Michigan in a text message.

She estimated about 30 individuals were at her home. 

Black and white photo of two people approaching a porch, one filming on a phone
Protesters, as seen in security camera footage, tape demands to a door at the home of University of Michigan Board of Regents Chair Sarah Hubbard (Courtesy photo by Sarah Hubbard)

Meridian Township police responded to the scene but made no arrests, according to Hubbard, who said the protesters departed and abandoned their property on my lawn.” Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Protesters also taped a list of demands onto the home doors of other university regents, according to a news release from the TAHRIR Coalition, which helped organize the U-M encampment that began April 22. 

"Though this iteration of the movement started with a university encampment, its boundaries are limitless,” the protesters said in a statement. “It will spill out into the streets and continue to attack the Israeli genocide project's most vulnerable institutions and allies. We will not rest until total Palestinian liberation.”

In a social media post, U-M Regent Jordan Acker said a "masked intruder" left a list of demands on the door of his family home at around 4:40 a.m. on Wednesday.

His daughters were "asleep in their beds" and "thankfully unaware of what transpired," he wrote on X. 

The latest protest action comes amid a wave of campus demonstrations across the country urging universities to cut ties with Israel, which has been at war since Hamas first attacked the country in October. 

While police arrested a non-student at a U-M protest earlier this month, the university has not attempted to break up the student encampment or negotiate with students, as some other schools have done. 

Hubbard provided photos of the latest student demand list to Bridge.

The demands include divestment, creating a “People’s Audit” to ensure the university operations are “transparent,” a boycott of Israeli academic institutions and a call for U-M to “abolish” campus police. 


“Nearly 40,000 individuals have been killed in Gaza,” the document states. “We refuse to wait any longer for the Regents to divest from the companies that have caused these deaths.” 

Hubbard responded to the demands in a text to Bridge: “In March, the Board of Regents spoke clearly regarding their request for divesting from our endowment. Again, the answer is NO.”

Hubbard said if people want to discuss divestment, they should speak during public comment at a Board of Regents meeting, such as the one planned for 3 p.m. Thursday. 

That meeting was originally scheduled as an in-person event but is now set to be virtual. 

The U-M encampment has featured posters of the regents and university President Santa Ono, with students calling for them to meet with protesters to discuss divestment. 

“The tactics used today represent a significant and dangerous escalation in the protests that have been occurring on campus,” said Kim Broekhuizen, university spokesperson. 

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

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