DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Pro-Palestine Students Walk Out of Stanford Commencement in Protest of Gaza Conflict

Pro-Palestine Students Walk Out of Stanford Commencement in Protest of Gaza Conflict

Around 500 pro-Palestine students walked out of Stanford University's commencement ceremony to protest the ongoing Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip. The students, wearing keffiyehs and waving Palestinian flags, left during Stanford President Richard Saller's speech on Sunday.

A sign reading "Free Palestine. Stanford Divest!" was held up by one student, and some people in the stands cheered as the students exited. The protest aimed to criticize the university's response to demands for divestment from companies funding Israel's actions in Gaza.

The walkout is part of a larger movement at Stanford, where students have been protesting for months, including two encampments and a brief occupation of the president's office. The activist group Stanford Against Apartheid in Palestine organized the walkout, promoting a "People's Commencement" as an alternative ceremony.

Security was tight at the official ceremony, with a clear bag policy and ticket requirements for entry. The pro-Palestine encampment, which lasted over 100 days, ended on June 5 with the arrest of more than a dozen students after they occupied the president's office. Some were immediately suspended from the university.

Zionist organizations have targeted anti-Israel protests, aiming to suppress free expression and debate. Despite these efforts, pro-Palestine activists across U.S. campuses continue to demand divestment from Israeli-linked companies supporting the Gaza conflict.

The Israeli military campaign in Gaza, which began on October 7, has resulted in over 37,300 Palestinian deaths, including more than 16,000 children.

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