Monday, 29 May, 2017

Notre Dame students plan silent walkout during Vice President Mike Pence speech

The University of Notre Dame The University of Notre Dame"Golden Dome of the administration building is shown Sept. 8 2012
Ben Pena | 19 May, 2017, 22:29

A collection of recent Notre Dame graduates plan to protest Vice President Mike Pence's appearance at commencement this Sunday by "standing up and walking out of the ceremony".

The South Bend Tribune reports that the walkout, organized by a "collection of student activist groups" dubbed "We StaND For", may also include graduate family members and friends.

But Bryan Ricketts, one of the We StaND For student organizers, said "it's a very legitimate thing for people to be scared" of the vice president. "We want to make it a graduation that's respectful of the students".

"During his time as governor of the state of IN and now as a Vice-President, Pence has targeted the civil rights protections of members of [the] LGBT+ community, rejected the Syrian refugee resettlement program, supported an unconstitutional ban of religious minorities, and fought against sanctuary cities", We StaND For said IN a statement to ThinkProgress Friday".

According to a Facebook event for the walkout, students are encouraged to stand up as soon as Pence begins talking, walk away from him "quietly but deliberately" toward the nearest exit, and join a group outside where they will have a "celebration and tassel turn".

Some students will be protesting Pence's policies as Indiana's governor, including the 2015 religious-objections law he signed that critics maintained sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Voters in Iran go to the polls to pick president
Iran's Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was among the first to cast his ballot and urged others to do the same. Yasmin Mehregan, a 29-year-old lawyer, said of Mr Raisi: "For a woman like me it will be bad ".

That same year, Pence ordered state agencies to halt resettlement for Syrian refugees after terrorist attacks in Europe. Typically, the university invites newly inaugurated presidents to deliver a commencement speech.

The group they are opposed to Pence's beliefs and actions exhibited during his time as governor in Indiana.

Other local groups are also expected to protest Pence's visit.

Browne told the Indy Star that school officials will only intervene if the protest "seriously disrupted" Pence's speech or put safety at risk.

Read the full article.

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