Yale university graduates stage walkout to protest Gaza war

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On Monday, a significant number of graduating students at Yale University made a powerful statement by staging a walkout during the commencement exercises. Their protest encompassed multiple concerns, including the Israeli war in Gaza, Yale’s financial ties to weapons manufacturers, and the university’s response to pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus.

As Yale President Peter Salovey began the customary announcement of candidates for degrees, around 150 students seated near the front of the audience unitedly stood up, turned their backs to the stage, and exited the ceremony through Phelps Gate, retracing their steps from the processional.

During the walkout, many protesters held small banners with slogans like “Books not bombs” and “Divest from war,” while some wore red-colored latex gloves symbolizing bloodied hands.

Other signs called for the dropping of charges and the protection of free speech, referencing the recent arrests of 45 individuals during demonstrations in and around the campus that were met with a police crackdown. The walkout received enthusiastic support from fellow students in the crowd, but it remained peaceful and did not disrupt the ceremony, with no mention of it made from the stage.

Yale is just one among many U.S. campuses experiencing protests related to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Palestine, triggered by Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip following an attack on Jewish settlements by Hamas militants on October 7th.

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