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University of Michigan Commencement Interrupted by Pro-Palestine Demonstration

Pro-Palestine demonstration interrupts University of Michigan commencement (Credits: The Hill)

A group of pro-Palestinian protesters briefly interrupted the spring commencement ceremony at the University of Michigan on Saturday, causing a stir among students, faculty, and administrators.

The protesters, donning caps, gowns, and keffiyehs, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism, chanted slogans and held up signs, including “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest” and “Regents, regents, you can’t hide! You are funding genocide!”

The protest was met with a mixed reaction from the audience. Some people cheered, and others shouted in disapproval. One person could be heard yelling, “You’re ruining our graduation!”

University of Michigan commencement disrupted (Credits: Detroit Free Press)

Meanwhile, two planes flew overhead with conflicting messages: one reading “Free Palestine” and “Divest from Israel now,” and another saying, “We stand with Israel. Jewish lives matter.”

The University of Michigan spokeswoman told The New York Times that the school had trained volunteers to manage disruptions, including asking someone to relocate a sign or stop disruptive behavior, to support a thriving and celebratory event.

This protest is part of a larger wave of demonstrations that have been taking place on college campuses across the country, with students demanding that their universities divest from Israeli companies and companies that supply weapons to Israel.

Protesters removed from University of Michigan commencement (Credits: CNN)

The protests have left school administrators struggling to balance First Amendment rights and campus security, with some universities setting up designated areas for students to protest and others canceling or moving events online.

The protests have largely been peaceful, but tensions have escalated in recent weeks, with police moving onto campuses to disperse demonstrators and a growing number of counter-protesters emerging. The situation has left many wondering how to change the problematic issues of free speech, campus safety, and political activism.

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