Digital News Report- Former Presidential Candidate Alan Keyes, who lost against President Obama in the 2004 Senate race, was arrested today at University of Notre Dame. Father Norman Weslin, who is a former army colonel and current Catholic priest, was also taken into custody along with 19 other protesters. The charges include criminal trespassing and resisting law enforcement after they refused to disband and leave campus grounds. The protesters were asked to leave because they were breaking campus policy, which states that only student-organized protests are allowed on campus once approved by the office of student affairs. Five of the arrested protesters will be detained until after the President’s speech as they had been arrested previously on the campus over similar charges.
Keyes, who ran in the 1996, 2000, and 2008 Republican Presidential Primaries, has been an outspoken pro-life and family values advocate. He notably left the Republican party in January 2008. He sits on the board of advisors for the Catholic League, the American Coalition of Life Activists, and the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.
The group of protesters is objecting to President Obama’s commencement speech set to take place on Sunday at the Catholic university. Many asserting that Obama’s Pro-choice stance is inconsistent with the Catholic Pro-life teachings. According to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Obama plans on addressing the issue in his speech.
This will mark the second commencement address that President Obama will deliver since stepping into office. On Wednesday he spoke at Arizona State University, which chose to not award him an honorary degree.
Updated: added school policy information.