Students walk out on Jerry Seinfeld’s speech as graduation ceremonies are disrupted across the country

Students walk out on Jerry Seinfeld’s speech as graduation ceremonies are disrupted across the country

Dozens of students walked out on Jerry Seinfeld at Duke University on Sunday as he was about to give his commencement speech.

Videos posted on social media showed students leaving a stadium in North Carolina to protest the Israeli war on Gaza, while Duke University President Vincent Price introduced the comedian.

Some students could be heard booing and waving Palestinian flags while others chanted: “Jerry!” Jerry!”

Seinfeld publicly supported Israel in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack, and traveled to the kibbutz in December to meet with the families of the hostages. He was “uncharacteristically vocal” about his support during press calls for his new film Unfrosted, New York times mentioned.

The comedian, who was receiving an honorary degree from Duke University, largely steered clear of the issue at the center of the protests during his speech. At one point, he mentioned his Jewish heritage, which was met with applause from the audience.

“I grew up as a Jewish boy from New York,” he said. “That’s a privilege if you want to be a comedian.”

Outside Duke University Stadium on the Durham University campus, pro-Gaza students chanted: “Reveal, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.”

Small pro-Palestinian protests emerged across the country this weekend as colleges and universities from North Carolina to California held graduation ceremonies.

At Duke’s rival, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, pro-Gaza demonstrators sprayed red paint on the building’s steps hours before the school’s commencement ceremony and chanted on campus as students dressed in light blue graduation gowns posed for photos. News and Monitor mentioned.

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An estimated 100 students and their family members left VCU’s ceremony during Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s speech in a show of support for the Palestinians, while others carried signs indicating opposition to his policies on education, according to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”. WRIC-TV.

Governor Yongkin, who received an honorary doctorate at the graduation ceremony, apparently did not address the students leaving the event.

“The world needs your music,” he said during his speech. “You, all of you, will be the symphony. Make it a masterpiece.”

VCU students exit a graduation ceremony as the Republican governor speaks on Saturday (National Students for Justice in Palestine)

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a small group of demonstrators staged what appeared to be a silent protest during the graduation ceremony at Camp Randall Stadium. A picture I posted wisconsin state magazine, The pictures showed about six people walking at the back of the stadium, two of whom were carrying the Palestinian flag.

The group, believed to be students because they were wearing caps and gowns, “were kind of directed but left on their own,” said Mark Lovecott, a campus police spokesman. No arrests have been made.

The demonstration came after pro-Palestinian demonstrators on that campus agreed on Friday to permanently dismantle their two-week-old encampment and not disrupt graduation ceremonies in exchange for the chance to engage with “decision makers” who control university investments by July 1. The university agreed to increase support for scholars and students affected by the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

At the University of Texas at Austin, a student raised the Palestinian flag during the graduation ceremony and briefly refused to leave the stage before security escorted him out.

UC Berkeley Law School graduates wear T-shirts that say “UC DIVEST” as a form of protest during the UC Berkeley Law School’s commencement ceremony at Berkeley’s Greek Theater on Friday. (ONLINE_YES)

At the University of California, Berkeley, a small group of pro-Palestinian protesters began waving flags and chanting during the opening ceremony, and were escorted to the back of the stadium, where others joined them, according to The Guardian. San Francisco Chronicle. There were no major counter-protests, but some attendees expressed frustration.

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

Saturday’s events were less dramatic than what happened at other universities on Friday, when police made dozens of arrests while dismantling pro-Gaza protest camps at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These measures came hours after police fired tear gas at demonstrators and brought down a similar encampment at the University of Arizona.

Associated Press There have been at least 75 cases since April 18 of arrests during campus protests in the United States. Nearly 2,900 people were arrested at 57 colleges and universities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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