When Vice President Mike Pence delivers the commencement speech at Notre Dame on Sunday, he’ll likely speak to fewer people than he expected.
Some students at the Catholic university plan to walk out of the speech as part of a protest against Pence and his policies, which they say target marginalized people on the basis of their religion, skin color or sexual orientation, according to the student activist group We Stand For.
Luis Miranda, a co-organizer of the walkout, said Pence, as Indiana governor and as vice president, targeted vulnerable people with his policies. Catholic values promote standing up for the poor and marginalized, so he plans to stand up on Sunday, literally.
Miranda said some of his family members are undocumented immigrants and have felt under siege by the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration.
“They are going to be in the audience in one of the most important moments of my life with someone targeting them for who they are,” he said.
The plan, according to a Facebook event, is to stand up when Pence begins speaking, walk toward the exit quietly, and, of course, live tweet the protest under the #WalkoutND hashtag.
As of Thursday afternoon, about 75 people had signed up to participate in the walkout.
“This is not just about the numbers, but about standing up for truth,” Miranda said. “We feel that there is power in truth and hopefully there will be power in numbers that come stand up with us.”
— We StaND For (@WeStandForND) May 15, 2017