BLOOMINGTON—Assistant Democratic Leader Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) released the following statement on the ongoing protests and arrest of demonstrators on Indiana University Bloomington’s campus:

“I am deeply concerned with the arrests of students, staff and faculty for exercising their First Amendment rights in Dunn Meadow on IU Bloomington’s campus. Bringing Indiana State Police officers in militarized riot equipment to monitor and disperse peaceful protestors has further escalated tensions.

“The widely reported change in policy regarding tents and structures by IU’s Administration on the eve of these protests—which was then used as justification to arrest peaceful protestors and ban them from campus property for a year—is incredibly disturbing. Free speech is only protected for all when there are clear and consistent rules enforced—not when rules are changed overnight and established processes are ignored.

“The rights to peaceful assembly, free speech and due process are guaranteed by our Constitution and have been historically upheld by our university. I strongly urge the IU Administration to protect the First Amendment rights of students, staff and faculty, with whom I stand in solidarity.”