Obama Speaks at Notre Dame Today Amid Protests, Vigils

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2009 11:28 PM CDT
Norma McCorvey, second from left, and Father Norman Weslin, center, lead an anti-abortion protest Saturday, May 16, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana.   (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
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(Newser) – Students at Notre Dame upset that President Obama will deliver today's commencement address began an all-night prayer vigil Saturday night, reports AP. Earlier, campus police arrested 19 anti-abortion protesters—none of them students—and charged them with trespassing, notes CNN. The invitation to pro-choice Obama has raised a ruckus at the Catholic school, and some of the more extreme members of the anti-abortion camp plan to make their presence felt at the college.

"The young people have behaved with great dignity," said the local bishop, John D'Arcy, who won't be attending Obama's speech. "They have been firm in their purpose and strong in their purpose, but prayerful. They haven't followed those who said we're going to make it a circus," he said.