Protests have subsided but college graduations have been marked by defiant acts

A small group of Duke University undergraduates protested against pro-Israel comedian Jerry Seinfeld speaking at his commencement ceremony in North Carolina on Sunday, prompting about 30 of the 7,000 students to leave their seats and leave amid cheering. Slogans of “Free Palestine” were raised.

Some people waved the red, green, black and white Palestinian flag. Seinfeld, whose eponymous sitcom was one of the most popular in American television history, was there to receive an honorary doctorate from the university.

The stand-up comic turned actor, who stars in the new Netflix film “Unfrozen,” has publicly supported Israel as the organization seeks to eliminate Hamas after it attacked the country and killed some people. Gaza was attacked for this. 1,200 people in southern Israel On 7 October. Nearly 1,000 people died in the ensuing war 35,000 people in GazaMost are women and children, according to Gaza's health ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants.

The protest by younger students at Duke's graduation in Durham, North Carolina on Sunday was emblematic of incidents on campuses across the United States on Sunday. week-long student protest This resulted in approximately 2,900 arrests in 57 colleges and universities.

Students on campuses across America responded this spring by camping out and calling on their schools to sever ties with Israel and the businesses that support it. Students and others on campuses who have been identified by law enforcement officials as outside agitators have participated in protests ranging from Columbia University to UCLA in New York City.

Police escorted graduates' families away from a few dozen pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to block entry to Pomona College in Southern California on Sunday evening. After protesters camped out on the campus concert stage last week, the small liberal arts school moved the event to the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, 30 miles (48 km) from Claremont. Tickets were required to attend the event, which the school said would include additional safety measures.

In April, police wearing riot gear arrested 19 protesters who occupied the president's office at the college along with about 1,700 graduate students.

Protester Anwar Mohammed, a 21-year-old senior from Pomona, said the school has ignored repeated calls to consider withdrawing its endowment funds from corporations tied to Israel in the war in Gaza.

“We have been ignored again and again by the institution,” Mohammed said outside the shrine on Sunday. “So today we have to say, this is not business as usual.”

At the University of California, Berkeley, on Saturday, a small group of pro-Palestinian protesters waved flags and chanted slogans during commencement and were escorted to the back of the stadium. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, There were no major protests, but some attendees expressed disappointment.

“I think they're ruining it for those of us who paid for tickets and came to show our pride for our graduates,” said Anne Ramos, whose daughter is a student. “There's a time and a place, and this isn't it.”

This weekend's opening events remained largely peaceful,

At Emerson College in Boston, some students took off their graduation robes and left them on the stage. Others inscribed “Free Palestine” on their mortar boards. A woman, who was staring at a camera broadcasting a livestream to the public, opened her cloak to reveal a coffee, the black and white checkered scarf usually worn by Palestinians, and the watermelon painted on his hand were flashing. Both are symbols of solidarity with the people living in the occupied territories.

Others displayed messages to cameras located on the stage, but the livestream immediately transitioned to a different view, preventing them from being viewed for long periods of time. It was difficult to understand the chants during some speeches.

Protests at Columbia University, where the student uprising inspired others on campuses across the country, led the school to cancel its main graduation ceremony in favor of smaller gatherings.

The University of Southern California fired its professor who publicly supported the Palestinians. She couldn't give her keynote speech speech at its graduation ceremony due to security concerns. it later canceled its main graduation ceremony,

There is just over a month left until graduation at DePaul University in Chicago. But as the academic year ended, school leaders said they had reached an “impasse” with the school's pro-Palestinian protesters, leaving the future of their encampment on the Chicago campus unclear.

The student-led DePaul Divestment Coalition, which is calling on the university to divest from economic interests tied to Israel, set up camp about two weeks ago. According to a student statement late Saturday night, the group alleged that university officials walked away from negotiations and tried to force students to sign an agreement.


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Associated Press journalists Ryan Sun in Los Angeles, Sophia Tareen in Chicago and Kimberly Creussy in Nashville, Tennessee contributed to this report.


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