Hamas Activists Humiliate Schools w/ Commencement Walkouts as Protests Languish

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(Headline USA) While increasingly presented with the consequences of their actions, including forceful police responses of protests, college students have largely abandoned the George Soros-funded efforts to disrupt campus proceedings with protests that interfered with the educational pursuits of others—particularly Jewish students. 

However, in schools where the graduation exercises were not cancelled—thereby depriving some students who missed out on their high school ceremonies due to COVID of yet another opportunity to walk the stage—pro-Hamas activists did take one more opportunity to embarrass their learning institutions before classes adjourned for the summer by staging walkouts during several high-profile commencement speakers.

At Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond—where rioters had previously attempted to take over a portion of the campus and refused to disperse peacefully, resulting in the arrest of 13 people, including six students—activists unsurprisingly organized a walkout during the speech by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

What was more surprising may have been Youngkin accepting the invitation to deliver the address at the far-left institution in the first place, where activist students needed little pretense to show their worst selves publicly.

Undeterred, Youngkin continued onward with his speech, emphasizing the importance of family.

In a follow-up tweet, he touted the “bright futures” of the Rams’ graduates, although some may already be closing doors on the “countless opportunities” available to them by establishing criminal histories and other blemishes that will leave them little choice but to continue to burden society with their utter uselessness and inability to pay back student loans in years to come.

In neighboring North Carolina, meanwhile, a tiny contingent of Duke University graduates opposed pro-Israel comedian Jerry Seinfeld speaking at their commencement Sunday, with about 30 of the 7,000 students leaving their seats and chanting “free Palestine” amid a mix of boos and cheers.

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

The stand-up comic turned actor, who stars in the new Netflix movie Unfrosted, has publicly supported Israel since it invaded Gaza to dismantle Hamas after the organization attacked the country and killed some 1,200 people in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The small student protest Sunday at Duke’s graduation in Durham, was emblematic of campus events across the U.S. Sunday after weeks of student protests resulted in nearly 2,900 arrests at 57 colleges and universities.

Students and others on campuses whom law enforcement authorities have identified as outside agitators have taken part in the protests from Columbia University in New York City to UCLA.

Police escorted graduates’ families past a few dozen pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to block access to Sunday evening’s commencement for Southern California’s Pomona College.

After demonstrators set up an encampment last week on the campus’ ceremony stage, the small liberal arts school moved the event 30 miles from Claremont to the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets were required to attend the event, which the school said would include additional security measures.

In April, police wearing riot gear arrested 19 protesters who had occupied the president’s office at the college with about 1,700 undergraduates.

Demonstrator Anwar Mohmed, a 21-year-old Pomona senior, said the school has repeatedly ignored calls to consider divesting its endowment funds from corporations tied to Israel in the war in Gaza.

“We’ve been time and time again ignored by the institution,” Mohmed said outside the Shrine on Sunday. “So today we have to say, it’s not business as usual.”

At the University of California, Berkeley, on Saturday, a small group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators waved flags and chanted during commencement and were escorted to the back of the stadium, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. There were no major counterprotests, but some attendees voiced frustration.

“I feel like they’re ruining it for those of us who paid for tickets and came to show our pride for our graduates,” said Annie Ramos, whose daughter is a student. “There’s a time and a place, and this is not it.”

This weekend’s commencement events remained largely peaceful.

At Emerson College in Boston, some students took off their graduation robes and left them on stage. Others emblazoned “free Palestine” on their mortar boards.

One woman, staring at a camera broadcasting a livestream to the public, unzipped her robe to show a kaffiyeh, the black and white checkered scarf commonly worn by Palestinians, and flashed a watermelon painted on her hand. Both are symbols of solidarity with those living in the occupied territories.

Others displayed messages for a camera situated on stage, but the livestream quickly shifted to a different view, preventing them from being seen for long. Chants during some of the speeches were difficult to decipher.

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

The University of Southern California told its valedictorian, who publicly backed Palestinians, that she could not deliver her keynote speech at its graduation ceremony because of security concerns. It later canceled its main graduation ceremony.

At DePaul University in Chicago, graduation is more than a month away. But as the academic year closes, 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 the encampment nearly two weeks ago. The group alleged university officials walked away from talks and tried to force students into signing an agreement, according to a student statement late Saturday.

With tensions running high, at least one school was forced to cancel its commencement ceremonies for reasons unrelated to political activism. At Washington, D.C.’s Howard University, a prominent historically black school where President Joe Biden last year delivered the commencement address, overcrowding forced the cancellation of a nursing school graduation event mid-ceremony.

Angry parents pounded on the auditorium chanting “Let us in” after it reached capacity, resulting in a glass door being shattered.

The entire ceremony was halted after there was an injury reported, according to the New York Post.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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