Shouting slogans like “We will not be silent, stop the government violence” and “We demand justice, we demand peace, get the U.S. out of the Middle East,” Ball State students protested against American military involvement in the Middle East.

The anti-war protest, held 11 a.m. Monday by Ball State Democrats, involved a march starting from University Green and concluding in the Quad in front of the Fine Arts Building.

The people who spoke at the protest to voice their opinions on war and violence focused particularly on the tensions between the United States and Iran.

“I am 22 years old, and I have yet to see peace,” said Dominic Bordenaro, president of Ball State Democrats at the protest.

Bordenaro cited a recent Brown University research project, that reported more than 224,000 innocent civilians had been killed in the Middle East, in his speech.

“We can’t afford these endless wars morally or financially,” he said.

Jacki Walburn, a member of Ball State Democrats who spoke at the protest, read a long excerpt from the book “A Power Governments Cannot Suppress” by Howard Zinn.

The passage was centered around the power citizens have to control their governments, reading, “Governments find that all their power is futile against the power of an aroused citizenry.” 

Walburn also spoke about the 3.5 percent rule of Erica Chenoweth, a professor of public policy at Harvard University, which states, “No government can withstand a challenge of 3.5 percent of its population."

“Now, I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but if 3.5 percent of all university students were standing today, we would have 600 people filling North Quad,” Walburn said. 

With approximately 20 people in attendance, the turnout for the protest was low. Bordenaro said it was due to the delay of the campus-wide email publicizing the event.

“We had put in for a campus-wide email to be sent out yesterday,” he said. “It didn’t get approved until this morning, and then they sent it out.”

Bordenaro said the media was presenting the events that took place in Iran “like there’s going to be no war now” — something he said might have also affected the turnout.

“I want to say this protest wasn’t just about Iran, and the Iran situation is not over,” he said. “This is about all wars, especially the ones in the Middle East, and the devastation they’ve caused and the cost that they have had.”

Contact Jaden Hasse with comments at jdhasse@bsu.edu or on Twitter @HasseJaden.