Twenty-two protesters have already been arrested for trespassing at the campus. Last Friday, arrests were made of people pushing baby carriages carrying dolls covered in fake blood. Expecting more of the same this weekend, the university has agreed to reimburse the South Bend and St. Joseph’s County police departments for on-campus security details.
A peaceful, non-confrontational protest, led by the student coalition, will be held at the campus on the afternoon of the commencement. The event will include prayers and speeches by pro-life activists and Notre Dame professors who are opposed to the selection of Obama as an award recipient because of his rolling back of restrictions on funding overseas abortions, and his lifting of all restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research.
Aware that protests in South Bend and around the campus have escalated and have resulted in arrests, the coalition of students recently issued a statement about behavior that is acceptable during the demonstration.
“Any person willing to respectfully and constructively demonstrate disapproval of the University’s decision to honor President Obama at commencement is welcomed to stand alongside students at the rally, ” the statement said.
“Graphic images and signs not in keeping with the tone of this rally will not be permitted on Notre Dame’s campus. (We) reserve the right to have individuals who do not follow student requests escorted from campus by security personnel.”