M&I Bank's branch on the Capitol Square, at 1 W. Main St., closed Thursday after demonstrators, protesting campaign contributions by bank executives to Gov. Scott Walker, gathered outside the bank and several pulled their money out.

Sara Schmitz, a spokeswoman for M&I in Milwaukee, said in an e-mail the bank shut its doors "under the advisement of the Madison Police Department and due to the significant number of protesters surrounding the Capitol."

Madison police said hundreds of people had gathered at the front entrance to the bank.

"(The) concern was if the crowd continued to grow, it would be difficult for us to guarantee access and safety for those trying to get in and out of the bank," police spokesman Joel DeSpain said. He said police did not tell M&I officials to close the bank.

Members of several labor unions stopped at M&I twice between 9 and 9:30 a.m., said Joe Conway, Jr., president of Local 311 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. The protest was peaceful, he said.

Several protesters went inside and closed their accounts, displaying checks that totaled $192,000 withdrawn, Conway said. Schmitz declined to comment about any withdrawals.

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