Campus Protests Disrupt University Events as M.I.T. Orders Encampment Cleared

Tensions escalated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) as pro-Palestinian demonstrators resisted orders to clear their encampment, leading to clashes with police. This resistance coincided with disruptions to university commencements, including Columbia’s cancellation of its main ceremony due to security concerns.

The weeks-long protest movement, marked by police interventions and arrests on various campuses, spilled into the graduation season, with demonstrations over the conflict in Gaza briefly interrupting some ceremonies.

The recent wave of arrests, totaling over 2,500 individuals at nearly 50 schools since April 18, reflects the ongoing activism on campuses across the country.

Columbia University cited security reasons for canceling its large commencement ceremony, opting instead for smaller events at its athletic complex. Similarly, the University of Southern California faced tension as police in riot gear removed a pro-Palestinian encampment from its campus for the second time.

Meanwhile, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego, witnessed further arrests on Monday as protests persisted.

Several other institutions, such as Emory University and the University of Chicago, have adjusted their ceremonies or heightened security measures in response to the ongoing protests. At the University of Virginia, faculty members expressed solidarity with pro-Palestinian students and condemned police actions during demonstrations.

The graduation season has become a platform for student activism, with incidents like Palestinian flag displays at the University of Michigan and protests during ceremonies at Northeastern University showcasing the persistent advocacy for various causes on college campuses.

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