A chorus of applause from other grads follows as students walk out in protest of the Israeli conflict in Gaza, their university’s financial ties to arms companies, and its response to pro-Palestine demonstrations on campus.

Numerous graduating students have protested Yale University’s financial links to weapons manufacturers, its response to pro-Palestinian demonstrations on the Ivy League campus, and Israel’s genocidal attack in Gaza by staging a walkout during commencement festivities.

As soon as Yale President Peter Salovey began to announce the customary college-by-college presentation of candidates for degrees on the campus of Yale’s Old Campus, which was crowded with thousands of graduates wearing caps and gowns, the walkout got underway on Monday.

As the ceremony came to an end, hundreds of students who had been sitting close to the front of the crowd got up, faced the stage, and marched out through Phelps Gate, following their path into the yard during the processional.

Many of the demonstrators were holding little banners that said things like “Divest from war” and “Books not bombs.” Some wore latex gloves in the color red, which represents bloodied hands.

“Drop the charges” and “Protect free speech” were written on other placards, which made reference to the 45 individuals detained during a police crackdown on protests held in and around the New Haven, Connecticut, campus last month.

While there was some cheering from other students during the walkout, the demonstration remained unbroken and nonviolent overall.

Protests against Israel’s war in Gaza and the escalating humanitarian situation facing the Palestinian people have rocked dozens of US campuses, including Yale.

rage at Southern California University
Hundreds of students protested comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s speech at Duke University’s commencement last week, voicing their support for Israel during the Gaza conflict, and the University of Southern California completely postponed its main graduating event.

Academic staff at the University of California, Santa Cruz held a protest strike on Monday in response to the violent attack on pro-Palestinian demonstrators who were camped there some weeks ago. The strike was organized by their union.

Additionally on Monday, an Ivy League school in New Hampshire called Dartmouth College’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences narrowly decided to censure president Sian Beilock for her choice to summon police to break up a pro-Palestinian encampment on May 1. This information was provided by a college spokesman.

89 people were arrested as a result of the police operation, and some people were injured.

The financial connections between academic institutions and Israel have been the focus of most of the student activism.

Hundreds of unionized academic researchers, graduate teaching assistants, and post-doctoral academics went on strike at UC Santa Cruz on Monday in protest of what they perceived to be unfair labor practices at the university regarding its management of pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

The strikers are employees of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 4811, which covers around 48,000 workers across all ten University of California campuses as well as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Local 4811 represents roughly 2,000 graduate students and other academic workers at UC Santa Cruz.

The rank-and-file of UAW 4811 decided last week to give union leaders permission to plan a series of “standup” strikes on specific or clusters of UC campuses through the end of June, as opposed to the entire university.

The UAW reports that graduate students have been arrested at multiple University of California campuses as part of the current wave of pro-Palestinian student activists. The Santa Cruz strike was the first union-backed demonstration in support of these activists.

Union organizers noted that the arrest of 210 people at the site of a pro-Palestine demonstration camp that was destroyed by police on May 2 at UCLA served as a primary catalyst for the walkout.

Before police intervened to put an end to the unrest, a number of pro-Israel supporters had engaged in violent attacks against the encampment and its occupants the previous evening. The brawl lasted for at least three hours. Since then, the institution has started looking into the matter.

In addition, the strikers want graduate students who were detained or facing sanctions for taking part in the demonstrations to be granted amnesty.

In response to protesters momentarily blocking campus entrances in the morning, UC Santa Cruz said in a statement that it had to move its instructional model to remote delivery for the day.

The University of California has requested that the state terminate the strike in an unfair labor practice lawsuit it has filed with the state Public Employee Relations Board.





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