A group of students at University of Montana called Reinvest Montana created a protest to urge the UM Foundation to divest and cut ties with the fossil fuel industry. As a result, the UM Police had to get involved. UM Police Chief Marty Ludemann explains the nature of the protest.

“On Tuesday, they decided to occupy the foundations lobby area,” said Ludemann. “They just basically sat in there and were doing homework. They did some chanting and some singing a little bit and we asked them to keep the volume down and they did, but we also advised them at 5 o’clock the business does close and they would have to leave the building at that time.”

According to Ludemann, about 40 people showed up to join the protest right around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. When police told them it was time to go, 18 individuals stayed knowing full well they would be arrested.

“They were very respectful to my police officers and the foundation, but they did have a point that they wanted to make and an agenda and I thought they did it very well,” Ludemann said. “They did it very respectfully, but there were the arrest consequences and they basically chose that agenda and left me no choice other to do what I had to do. I think they understood that and appreciated that too.”

Those 18 people were cited and released on site and were escorted out of the building. Ludemann said they should appear in municipal court, likely on Friday, April 29.