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Bittersweet ceremonies mark troubled times on US campuses

Walkouts, cancellations and threats to pro-Palestinian students mar commencement celebrations

By MINGMEI LI in New York | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-06-11 07:31

A student stands in support of Palestine during Washington University's graduation ceremony on May 13, on Francis Olympic Field in St. Louis, Missouri. [Photo/Agencies]

"These are my peers and friends, and I can't in good conscience celebrate when their families are in pain," Kumar said. "This is beyond politics — it's about civil rights and civil disobedience. We're not intending to be disruptive or violent. But it's making a statement, as a community, as the class of 2024."

On the same day, intense protests also took place at the University of California, Los Angeles. Pro-Palestinian protesters rebuilt an encampment on the college grounds, occupied a hall, erected wooden barriers, and effectively blocked access to a small section of the campus.

Around noon, tensions escalated as police and other law enforcement officers arrived at the campus to dismantle the encampment. Clashes between the protesters and the authorities quickly ensued, resulting in several altercations.

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