It came as a surprise when Notre Dame, a Catholic University, decided to press charges against 88 pro-life demonstrators last year when they protested the appearance of pro-choice president Barack Obama at the Indiana University.
Perhaps amazingly to some folks, these photos [below] show that such protests
can be conducted without arrests, jailing and prosecution of
protesters--something that may come as a surprise to those guarding the
gates at Notre Dame's celebrated campus.
Indeed, at Notre Dame last year, the ND88 were wholly peaceable and
indeed prayerful, as many of the Catholic participants were praying the
Yet they were suddenly stopped and then handcuffed and hauled away to
jail, charged with crimes. And now their criminal prosecutions grind
on as Notre Dame insists that they be prosecuted to the full extent of
Perhaps it won't be as easy as Notre Dame administrators think. Representing the arrested Notre Dame protestors, called the ND88, is the Thomas More Society, which will require Notre Dame and state authorities go through all the legal steps that will be prompted by the school's stubbornness. Continued the Society:
Later this week we'll be meeting with Notre Dame's new outside counsel
who will be defending its interests in connection with the current
discovery proceedings, recently permitted when St. Joseph County
Superior Court Chief Judge Scopelitis lifted the stay on discovery,
which had been handed down by the prior Judge hearing the case (who had
stepped down voluntarily after conflict of interest charges were filed
against her, claiming judicial bias).
This upcoming discovery will encompass not only requests for
documents but formal deposition(s), under oath, of Notre Dame officials
concerning their on-campus demonstration policies and the apparent
differences in the way they have treated pro-lifers who protested the
Obama Commencement last year and Catholic Worker and pro-gay groups who
also were said to have violated the on-campus demonstration policies of
Charges were never brought against many of the latter folks, and
those that were brought were abruptly dropped before the cases went to
court, according to findings of the Sycamore Trust, an alumni
group which conducted its own independent investigation of the matter.
Me thinks that Notre Dame has bitten off more than it can chew.