University of Wisconsin police arrested 12 students after they barricaded themselves in the chancellor’s office while protesting against Palermo’s Pizza, officers say.
The incident started as a peaceful rally involving more than 100 students but quickly escalated when 12 students entered Chancellor David Ward’s office in a protest against UW’s ties with the Milwaukee-based pizza manufacturer, according to UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott. Officers responded to Ward’s office, and all 12 students were arrested and released. One student who refused to leave was cited at the scene for trespassing and resisting arrest, then released.
The rally follows a student campaign requesting the university to cut ties with the company after UW’s Labor Licensing Policy Committee found that Palermo’s violated the university’s code of conduct, according to a statement by Ward. Student groups, including the Student Labor Action Coalition, Working Class Student Union and United Council, have been involved in the campaign.
Ward responded to the rally with a statement that said UW would not cut ties with Palermo's at this time, citing a decision by the Milwaukee Office of National Labor Relations that found most of the allegations against the manufacturer lacked merit. Workers appealed that decision, but it was denied today, according to the statement. The statement added Ward and the university will continue to monitor events related to the issue.