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Dozens protests at Notre Dame over war in Gaza, none arrested

University of Notre Dame golden dome
Jennifer Weingart

Following the lead of students at colleges across the country, dozens of demonstrators voiced support for Palestine on Notre Dame’s campus Thursday evening.

According to university spokeswoman Sue Ryan, there were no arrests made. Campus police confiscated multiple tents — at one point pulling a tent out from under a demonstrator who was sitting on it. Notre Dame's student newspaper, The Observer, reported police also took a megaphone the protesters were using.

According to accounts posted to social media and coverage from other media outlets, the 65 or so demonstrators started their action on the lawn in front of the Golden Dome by praying for Palestinians who have died in the conflict. The start of the protest coincided with a mass in the Basilica nearby celebrating the presidency of Rev. John Jenkins. The Observer reported loudspeakers broadcasted the mass out onto God Quad while the protest took place.

Protestors called for the University to disclose and withdraw its investments in all companies that manufacture weapons and to more aggressively use its leverage to call for a ceasefire. They then marched around South Quad and dispersed around 11 p.m., per the Observer.

On Feb. 10, Jenkins issued a statement calling for an end to the war saying the following: "Just as I condemn the heinous killings, kidnappings and assaults on Israeli civilians on October 7 and all expressions of antisemitism that have emerged since, I add my voice to those calling for an end to the violence and death in Gaza, particularly children and innocent civilians. Events of the past four months have sadly reminded us once again that violence, particularly against non-combatants, simply begets more violence."

University spokeswoman Sue Ryan did not respond to a question about whether Notre Dame has investments in any companies that manufacture weapons.

There have been significant protests at other universities in America in the past few weeks, resulting in hundreds of arrests as students call for universities from the Ivy Leagues to the west coast to divest in weapons companies and for a general call to stop the war. NPR estimates that as of Wednesday, around 550 people have been arrested.

At some colleges, protests have raised questions about how much antisemitism is baked into the pro-Palestine movement and more broad concerns for the suffering of Gazans. Per photos of Thursday's protest, demonstrators carried signs reading "Respect [Palestine's] existence or expect resistance," "Free Gaza," "End the genocide" and "divest Notre Dame."

Elsewhere in Indiana, state troopers were on scene in Bloomington to quell protests at Indiana University. Over 30 people were arrested on Thursday. Protesters outside the governor's mansion in Indianapolis were also arrested recently.

Most estimates place the death toll from Israeli attacks in Gaza at over 34,000.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.