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Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupt CU Denver graduation ceremonies

Posted at 4:13 PM, May 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 09:08:10-04

DENVER — Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted graduation ceremonies during the 2024 University of Colorado Denver Commencement Program Saturday.

A man was heard yelling, “Michelle Marks, you are enabling the genocide of the Palestinian people!” as CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks spoke during services held at the Denver Coliseum.

After the disruption, Marks stepped away from the microphone for a brief moment as protesters began chanting. She then returned to the podium and told the group that there is a time and place to protest, “but today is a day we are celebrating our graduates,” which garnered booming applause from graduates and attendees.

Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupt CU Denver graduation ceremonies

Shortly after, the university’s band began playing, drowning out the chants from the pro-Palestinian protesters. The live feed then cut out and a message stating “We’ll be back shortly” appeared on the screen.

After a brief break, the commencement program continued. It’s unclear if the protesters were removed or if they left the coliseum on their own.

Pro-Palestinian protesters have been occupying an encampment on the Tivoli Quad at the Auraria Campus, which CU Denver shares with two other schools, for several weeks, demanding that the institutions divest from corporations operating in Israel.

Last week, protesters reportedly threatened to do exactly what took place Saturday, but Community College of Denver, which held its graduation ceremony at Lowry Campus Thursday, and Friday's ceremony for Metro State University took place uninterrupted.

The Associated Press is reporting that colleges and universities across the country have seen small pro-Palestinian protests pop up during commencement services this week.

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