Students walk out as commencement ceremonies across the country are disrupted over Jerry Seinfeld's speech


When Jerry Seinfeld was to deliver the commencement address at Duke University on Sunday, dozens of students walked out in protest.

Video posted on social media showed students leaving the stadium in North Carolina to protest Israel's war in Gaza, as Duke President Vincent Price introduced the comedian.

Some students could be heard shouting and waving Palestinian flags while others shouted: “Jerry! Jerry!”

Dozens of students walked out when Jerry Seinfeld gave the commencement address at Duke University on Sunday ,AP,

Seinfeld publicly supported Israel after the Hamas attack on October 7 and traveled to the kibbutz in December to meet with the families of hostages. He has been “uncharacteristically vocal” about his support during press calls for his new film, Unfrozen. the new York Times informed of.

The comedian, who was receiving an honorary degree from the Duke, largely avoided the issue at the center of the protest during his speech. At one point, he mentioned his Jewish heritage to which the crowd applauded.

“I grew up a Jewish boy in New York,” he said. “Good luck if you want to be a comedian.”

Outside Duke Stadium on the Durham campus, pro-Gaza students chanted: “Reveal, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.”

Small pro-Palestinian protests took place across the country this weekend, as commencement ceremonies were held at colleges and universities from North Carolina to California.

At Duke's rival school, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, pro-Gaza protesters spread red paint on the stairs of a building and chanted slogans across campus hours before the school's commencement ceremony, while students wearing light blue graduation gowns Took pictures. News and Observer informed of.

An estimated 100 students and family members walked out of the ceremony at Virginia Commonwealth University during Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin's speech in support of the Palestinians, while others held signs protesting his policies on education. WRIC-TV,

Gov. Youngkin, who received an honorary doctorate at commencement, did not appear to address the students leaving the event.

During his speech he said, “The world needs your music.” “You, all of you, will be the symphony. Make it a masterpiece.”

Virginia Commonwealth University students walk out of graduation ceremonies during the Republican governor's speech on Saturday ,National Students for Justice in Palestine,

At the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a small group of protesters held a silent protest during commencement at Camp Randall Stadium. A photo posted by Wisconsin State Journal, About six people were shown walking past the stadium, two of whom were holding a Palestinian flag.

Campus police spokesman Mark Lovicott said the group was believed to be students because they were wearing caps and gowns, adding, “They were kind of directed there but they left on their own.” No arrests were made.

The demonstration came after pro-Palestinian protesters on that campus called on Friday to permanently dismantle their two-week-old encampment and not disrupt the graduation ceremony in exchange for the opportunity to engage with the “decision makers” who control the university's investments by July 1. Happened after agreeing to do so. The university agreed to increase support for scholars and students affected by the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

At the University of Texas at Austin, a student raised a Palestinian flag during a commencement ceremony and briefly refused to leave the stage before being escorted out by security.

UC Berkeley Law School graduates wear T-shirts reading 'UC Divest' in protest during UC Berkeley Law School's commencement ceremony at the Greek Theater in Berkeley on Friday. ,online_yes,

And at the University of California, Berkeley, a small group of pro-Palestinian protesters began waving flags and chanting during commencement and were escorted to the back of the stadium, where they were joined by others, according to 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.”

Saturday's events were less dramatic than those on other campuses on Friday, when police made dozens of arrests while dismantling pro-Gaza protest camps at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The actions came hours after police fired tear gas at protesters and dismantled a similar camp at the University of Arizona.

The Associated Press At least 75 cases have been reported since April 18 in which arrests were made during protests on US campuses. Around 2,900 people have been arrested in 57 colleges and universities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report


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