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HomeBreaking NewsUWM Pro-Palestinian Occupiers Rename Mitchell Hall After Man Who Praised Oct. 7...

UWM Pro-Palestinian Occupiers Rename Mitchell Hall After Man Who Praised Oct. 7 Terror Attacks


UW-Milwaukee leaders have lost control of their campus – at least part of it.

Pro-Palestinian occupiers at UW-Milwaukee have renamed a major campus hall at the state public university after a man who praised the Oct. 7 terror attacks, and they have covered the building, where students attend classes, with anti-Semitic graffiti, including the phrase “f*ck Israel” and “from the river to the sea.” Yet campus, city, and state officials are doing nothing about it.

The protesters renamed Mitchell Hall “Refaat Alareers,” covering the word “Mitchell” with that name on the state-owned building, graffiti photographed on the evening of May 7 shows. According to BBC, Refaat Alareer, who was killed in an airstrike, was a literary professor at Gaza University. Alareer called the Oct. 7 terrorist attack “legitimate and moral” and said it was “exactly like the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising,” BBC reported.

You can see a collection of photos from inside the UWM encampment on Tuesday night. The only visible police presence came in the form of UW-Milwaukee vehicles that periodically drove past.

Art design, dance, African history, and other classes are held in Mitchell Hall. It is the final week of classes at UW-Milwaukee. UW-Milwaukee public relations has refused to explain to Wisconsin Right Now why the encampment has not been taken down, even though the dean of students admitted in a public message that students have told him it makes them feel unsafe.

Uw-milwaukee’s mitchell hall.

The renaming of Mitchell Hall was not the only reference to Oct. 7 inside the UW-Milwaukee encampment Tuesday. A propaganda paper hanging inside the encampment on state property calls the Oct. 7 terror attacks (Al Aqsa Flood) and the use of hang gliders by the Palestinian “resistance” a “good turn of events” and the “right thing to do.”

Yet officials continue their complete hands-off approach, despite the pleas of top Milwaukee Jewish leaders. “As Jewish students are taunted on campus, as protesters shamelessly call for peace while chanting for intifada, as protesters harass students with visible Jewish clothing and symbols, I can no longer remain silent about what our students have been experiencing on Milwaukee’s campuses, and I can no longer accept the silence of university administrations. Students shouldn’t have to stage a sit-in or storm a chancellor’s residence to be heard,” the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s CEO wrote.

Yet, as of Tuesday night, Jewish students and faculty have to navigate a campus taken over, in part, by an anti-Israel encampment with pro October 7 propaganda hanging inside its fence. And they must enter a campus building for classes that contain “f*ck Israel” and other graffiti. It should be noted that this is occurring on state property, yet Gov. Tony Evers has failed to act. So has Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman. Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson. UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. The UWM Police Department is currently operating with a suspended chief for reasons the university won’t explain.

Uwm encampment
Flyer hanging inside the uwm encampment.

The pro-Palestinian protesters have erected a fence around a large patch of state-owned land lining Kenwood Boulevard, near the student union and in front of Mitchell Hall. The fence is covered with writings, including a statement at one entrance that reads, “No pigs (police) allowed.”

“Milwaukee Liberated Autonomous Zone,” a sign says near the entrance, which is manned by protester security guards carrying walkie-talkies. The only police spotted came in the form of a UWM police squad that glided past occasionally. No MPD cars were visible.

Uw-milwaukee campus

Is the protest peaceful? People ate Chinese food, painted together, prayed, listened to “teach-in” on healthcare disparities, and more. However, the language on the signs and fence is incendiary. Examples:

Furthermore, protester “security guards” wearing vests carried walkie-talkies and appeared to be following us throughout the encampment for quite some time. One took a photo of us. This felt very intimidating and hostile, not welcoming.

In addition, the “security guards” for the protesters were monitoring police movements via walkie talkie. “Unmarked UWM PD turning on Kenwood,” a security guard’s walkie talkie crackled.

Uwm protesters

Uwm protesters

Uwm protesters

One speaker told an anecdote about visiting the Holocaust museum with a teacher who spoke about the Holocaust being the “beginning of Israelis taking over Palestinian land, and it broke my heart when she looked at me, and she goes, ‘No matter what, my people will be free.'”

The protesters erected strings of light bulbs, a library, a medic tent, and a food station. One woman sat with a dog near an entrance. Someone put up a tire swing on a campus tree. Multiple Palestinian flags flew in the breeze. No administrators were visible. No reporters were either.

“We want Palestine to win,” a speaker told the crowd. “From the river to the sea.”

“We have to save this country from Israel’s corruption,” another speaker said.


Jim Piwowarczyk
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now.

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