14 people were arrested outside the Indiana Governor’s Residence early Thursday morning on April 18 for obstructing traffic along Meridian Street during a pro-Palestine protest.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers warned the protesters that they would be arrested if they did not stop obstructing traffic.

Blocking or obstructing traffic is a crime in Indiana. In a statement, the department said:

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14 pro-Palestinian arrests outside governor’s residence
100+ protesters shut down Meridian Street in effort to demand that Indiana and the U.S. stop arming Israel on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Photo/provided via Instagram: Jewish Voice for Peace-Indiana)

IMPD respects and values the right of people to peacefully assemble and protest.

Obstructing traffic, vandalizing property and/or assaulting anyone is unlawful and could subject offenders to an arrest.

IMPD respects the rights of people to record police activity. That right is not absolute, and citizens are reminded to not interfere with police engaging in lawful actions.

IMPD respects the rights of people to peacefully protest. IMPD officers are monitoring protests on Meridian Street to protect the rights of those protesting and others in the community.

14 pro-Palestinian arrests

Pro-Palestine protesters marched from Tarkington Park, expressing outrage behind the U.S. Senate’s vote to send a $95 billion aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

Protesters called on Gov. Holcomb and other state and U.S. officials to stop supporting genocide in Gaza after

a mass grave of over 300 bodies was uncovered at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis at the Gaza Strip in Palestine.

Members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Indiana organized a call-in to the jail and Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears to expedite the release of protesters and drop all charges.

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14 pro-Palestinian arrests outside governor’s residence
14 people were arrested outside the Indiana Governor’s Residence during a pro-Palestine protest. (Photo/provided via Instagram: Jewish Voice for Peace-Indiana)

“Indianapolis’ Seder for Gaza also joins a week of similar actions led by JVP and other progressive Jewish groups across the United States,” said JVP national advisory board member Naomi Klein.

“A genocide being carried out in our names as Jews demands that we adapt our sacred tradition again, take to the streets, and do everything we can to prevent more death.”

One group of protesters set up tables and chairs on Meridian Street between 46th and 39th Streets.

Obstructing traffic

“We see what’s happening all across the US on college campuses with the encampments for Gaza. As student organizers, we commend these brave students and faculty for putting their bodies on the line while risking their futures and their academic standing,” said Palestinian student organizers.

“We look up to them as we continue advocating for the liberation of the Palestinian people and all oppressed people around the world.”

Over the weekend, 33 pro-Palestine activists were arrested by Indiana State Police and IUPD officers at Indiana University. Undeterred by the arrests, protests continued one day after it happened.

RELATED: Indiana governor vetoes HB 1002

14 pro-Palestinian arrests outside governor’s residence
According to Not My Tax Dollars, a project of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, for Hoosiers, the amount of tax dollars supporting Israel amounts to more than $51 million. (Photo/provided via Instagram: Jewish Voice for Peace-Indiana)

“Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network strongly condemns the actions of Indiana University administration and law enforcement for actions taken against students and faculty peacefully protesting at Dunn Meadow, the campus’ long-standing free speech zone,” said Maliha Zafar the executive director of the Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network in a statement.

“IU has a clear history of silencing pro-Palestinian voices through disproportionate disciplinary actions, canceling events, intimidation and use of force.”

Zafar said college campuses are meant to be a safe space for continued education and civil discourse. Hostility from campus administration and enacting one-year bans on students hampers the ability for them to participate in these activities.

Protests happening on college campuses

With the First Amendment being a staple of democracy, the organization said they continue to see protected political speech violated as protestors voice their demands on campus.

The Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network is closely monitoring protests across the state to make sure individuals are supported and protected to exercise their freedom of speech.

Through a partnership with the ACLU, IMAN is providing information for legal representation for protesters. According to Not My Tax Dollars, a project of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, for Hoosiers, the amount of tax dollars supporting Israel amounts to more than $51 million.

Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at (317) 762-7853. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON.