Hundreds of Anti-Israel Protesters Disrupt UC Berkley Graduation

Anti-Israel protesters disrupted UC Berkeley’s campus-wide commencement ceremony on Saturday morning when a large group began loudly chanting.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the protest included hundreds of demonstrators with the majority of protesters graduating students, wearing their caps and gowns.

Sydney Roberts, president of the Associated Students of the University of California, was addressing the graduates when her speech was briefly interrupted.

“This wouldn’t be Berkeley without a protest,” she said.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ reportedly empathized with the agitators.

“They feel passionately about the brutality and the violence in Gaza, tens of thousands of Palestinians killed and the destruction of educational institutions,” she said as the crowd cheered.

The incident happened just one week after Columbia University canceled its university-wide commencement ceremony.

In a May 6 statement, the university announced, “We are determined to give our students the celebration they deserve, and that they want. Our Deans and other colleagues who work directly with our students have been discussing plans with student leaders, and, most importantly, listening. Based on their feedback, we have decided to make the centerpiece of our Commencement activities our Class Days and school-level ceremonies, where students are honored individually alongside their peers, rather than the University-wide ceremony that is scheduled for May 15.

The statement added that the “past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for our community” amid widespread student protests.

“Just as we are focused on making our graduation experience truly special, we continue to solicit student feedback and are looking at the possibility of a festive event on May 15 to take the place of the large, formal ceremony,” the announcement continued. “We are eager to all come together for our graduates and celebrate our fellow Columbians as they, and we, look ahead to the future.”

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik similarly said that “these past two weeks have been among the most difficult in Columbia’s history.”

“The turmoil and tension, division, and disruption have impacted the entire community,” Shafik declared in a video. “You, our students, have paid an especially high price. You lost your final days in the classroom and residence halls. For those of you who are seniors, you’re finishing college the way you started– online.”

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