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The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Protests begin at Commencement

Approximately two dozen individuals marched the perimeter of the Green chanting for union rights and protesting the Israel-Hamas war.

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Minutes after the commencement ceremony began at 9 a.m., approximately two dozen individuals marched along the perimeter of the Green drumming and chanting for “union power” and, later around 10 a.m., also began protesting the Israel-Hamas war.

One chant — “who are we, Gold UE” — identified some protesters as members of the Graduate Organized Laborers of Dartmouth-United Electrical Workers, the College’s graduate student workers’ union.The group has been on strike since April 29, according to past reporting by The Dartmouth. Other chants included “Beilock, Beilock, you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide,” “Free free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” among others.

While College President Sian Leah Beilock conferred honorary degrees, protesters continued to circle the Green with placards. Several graduating graduate students also declined to shake Beilock’s hand while receiving their degrees.

Despite the interruptions, commencement has continued.

In addition, more than 130 graduating students from the Class of 2024 declined to shake Beilock’s hand as they walked across the Commencement stage as their names were called.

Several graduating members of the Class of 2024 also raised the Palestinian flag as they walked across the stage, in addition to others incorporating Palestinian flags into their regalia.

Then, at the start of Beilock’s address, a group of graduating students staged a walkout from the Commencement ceremony. Individuals chanted and some held Palestinian flags while they walked from the Green to the front of Dartmouth Hall, where they were joined by other protesters. Around 50 individuals, including at least 20 graduating seniors, joined the protest in front of Dartmouth Hall.

Chants included “Divest, don’t arrest,” “Beilock Beilock you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide,” “Dartmouth’s money is blood money,” “Israel bombs, USA pays, how many kids did you kill today?” and “not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes,” among others. Protesters also held up signs including “stop funding genocide” and “remember the martyrs.”

This article will be updated throughout the Commencement ceremony.

Correction Appended (June 9, 2:34 p.m.): A previous version of this article cited that some students refused to shake Beilock's hand as they received their diplomas. However, students did not receive their diplomas as they walked across the Commencement stage. The article has been corrected.