ACLU of Indiana files lawsuit against IU over Dunn Meadow protests

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (IUSTV News) — The ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit Friday against Indiana University over claims the university violated the First Amendment rights of the protesters arrested during the Gaza encampment in Dunn Meadow.

The three plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit were among the 57 arrested during the protest last week, including IU Associate Professor of Germanic studies Dr. Benjamin Robinson.

According to the lawsuit, Robinson was arrested on April 25 and trespassed from IU property for one year. Robinson filed an appeal to the trespass, and was granted a stay while the appeal is pending.

One of the other plaintiffs is graduate student Madeleine Meldrum. According to the lawsuit, Meldrum was also arrested on April 25 and trespassed from IU property for one year.

The lawsuit claims that IU violated the first amendment rights of the protesters police issued trespass warnings to the protesters for what, since 1969, is designated by IU as a public forum.

“Since 1969 Dunn Meadow has been a public forum, a place for persons to engage in First Amendment expression. Indiana University cannot preemptively ban persons from engaging in this protected expression by prohibiting them from entering Dunn Meadow for a year or more.

Our future ability to engage in speech activities cannot be denied in this way. This is a prior restraint, and it is unconstitutional.”

ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk

IUSTV News reached out to IU for a statement on the lawsuit and was told the university does not comment on pending litigation.