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Protest over Israel-Hamas War ends with arrests outside Governor’s Residence

Protesters arrested for blocking traffic

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Fourteen people were arrested during a Thursday morning protest calling for a cease-fire in Gaza outside the Indiana Governor’s Residence on Meridian Street.

Traffic was interrupted for 45 minutes during the morning rush hour. The protesters chanted, “If we don’t get it, shut it down. Shut it down.”

Jewish Voice for Peace-Indiana, a group that says it’s made up of Indianapolis-based college students, staged the Seder IN Action rally around 7:30 a.m. at Tarkington Park to demand a cease-fire in Gaza and an end to U.S. aid to Israel. The Middle Eastern Association of IUPUI also was part of the effort.

About half an hour later, the protesters had moved onto Meridian Street south of the park and were blocking intersections, forcing Indianapolis police to close the southbound lanes between 49th and 46th streets.

By 9 a.m., about a two dozen protesters with signs and banners had positioned themselves on Meridian Street outside the Governor’s Residence, first in the street and then on the sidewalk.

One person read a statement calling for the cease-fire before the protesters moved back to the street.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers and Indiana State Police troopers arrived, blocking traffic to keep cars from driving through the protesters. IMPD ordered the group to leave the street or they would be arrested.

“IMPD respects and values the right of people to peacefully assemble and protest,” IMPD said on X. “However, obstructing traffic is unlawful and is subject to arrest. We continue to ask protesters to move out of the middle of the streets.”

When the protesters refused to move, officers put several of them in handcuffs while people nearby clapped and cheered. Another roar of approval came minutes later when the handcuffed protesters were hauled away in a police van.

IMPD arrested 14 people for obstructing traffic. Some those arrested are not Indianapolis residents, the department said on X.

IMPD on Thursday afternoon released the names of the people arrested: Elmahadi Ahmed, Malkah Bird, Susan Birndorf, Karisa Cole, Omar Daas, Payton Emberton, Austin Myers, Taylor Paker, Jessica Phillips, Mohamad Rashid, Brittany Rood, Hured Saadeh, Jihad Saadeh, and Brandon Schaaf.

More than 30,000 Palestians have been killed in the war in Gaza.