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More than a dozen protestors arrested on Notre Dame's campus as Pro-Palestinian demonstrations continue across U.S.

University of Notre Dame golden dome
Jennifer Weingart

Notre Dame police officers arrested 17 people on Thursday night for participating in a Pro-Palestinian protest on campus.

The arrests were the first on Notre Dame's campus and come as students continue to demonstrate at universities around the state and country. A protest at Notre Dame last week concluded with no arrests.

There were no injuries reported from Thursday after a group of about 45 people demonstrated at multiple spots on campus for close to five hours. All 17 people were arrested on charges of trespassing.

In a statement, Notre Dame said protestors demonstrating days before finals and without registering was the reason police detained those who refused to leave the quad in front of the Main Building around 10 p.m. Thursday.

“After being repeatedly reminded of University rules, including rules governing disturbances during finals and study days, the group instead marched toward the central University quad which houses several dorms," the university said in a statement. "After being warned again that demonstrations are not allowed during specific times, Notre Dame Police arrested several noncompliant group members.”

Reporting from Notre Dame’s student newspaper — The Observer — and videos posted to social media show the group gathered earlier in the afternoon on a field near Notre Dame Avenue and Holy Cross Drive on the southwest edge of campus. They heard speeches and ate dinner before moving to the heart of campus later in the evening.

Per a statement posted on the social media page of Occupation Free ND, the protesters are calling for the university to divest its endowment from all companies that manufacture weapons, to begin an "academic boycott of Tel Aviv University in Israel and to do away with the university's rules that protests must be registered beforehand and can last only 15-minutes.

Though university rules technically state all protests can last no more than 15 minutes — a rule instituted by former university president Rev. Ted Hesburgh during the Vietnam War era — Thursday's protest was not stopped after 15 minutes.

Those arrested are set for court dates in late June. Trespassing technically carries a maximum of one year in jail, but most nonviolent misdemeanors don't result in jail time unless the person convicted of the act has an extensive criminal history.

With Thursday's demonstration, Notre Dame now joins a growing list of colleges around the country to see arrests in response to pro-Palestinian protests. At Indiana University in Bloomington, over 50 people have been arrested in the last week as the administration's response has been widely criticized for calling in Indiana State Police. There have also been protests at Ball State and Purdue universities.

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.