Pro-Hamas protesters battle with police outside relocated Pomona graduation

On Sunday, the graduation ceremony of Pomona College located in Claremont, California was disrupted by pro-Palestine protesters.

The relocated event had to be held nearly 40 miles away in Los Angeles because of an anti-Israel encampment on Pomona's campus.

A graduation ceremony at Pomona College located in Claremont, California was disrupted Sunday by pro-Palestine protesters. 

Hundreds of demonstrators, reportedly being cheered on by college faculty, clashed with police outside of Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, where Pomona held the relocated event because of a campus encampment of pro-Hamas students. Protesters attempted to block graduation guests from entering the auditorium and a group charged the police officers stationed outside. 

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According to a police report, one of the protesters injured an officer, resulting in arrests. 

The graduation ceremony was originally scheduled to take place on the Marston Quad at the main campus in Claremont. However, the ceremony had to be relocated almost 40 miles away to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles after the encampment was established on the intended graduation stage. 

A group of more than 100 congregated outside of the auditorium and clashed with the police officers in riot gear stationed outside. The police officers were said to have used batons to push the protesters away from the ceremony. 

“By converging outside the Shrine Auditorium, student organizers aim to amplify their demands and expose the interconnected nature of their struggles, linking the fight for Palestinian liberation to broader struggles for social justice and the dismantling of oppressive systems,” George Smith of Pomona Divest from Apartheid reportedly said in a statement. “Their message will be impossible to ignore: complicity in the oppression of Palestinians will not be tolerated, and the fight for justice will continue to escalate.”

On Monday, the school released a statement, saying: “Our students, faculty, staff and alumni hold a range of viewpoints. Throughout the year, college leaders have offered to meet with student protesters and will continue to do so. We will promote safety for all members of our community and pursue our educational mission, considering the full range of viewpoints.”

Kouross Esmaeli, a professor who partook in the demonstration, reportedly stated that the student activists were “heroic” and “put their bodies on the line.” “The least we can do as faculty is to come here and support,” he added. 

[RELATED: 20 Pomona College students arrested after occupying administrative building for Palestine]

Graduation ceremony attendees could be seen walking through the crowds of protesters who held up signs and raised chants. Some family members of graduates who were late and carrying flowers were stopped by LAPD from entering the ceremony, according to the Los Angeles Times

Campus Reform has contacted Pomona College for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.