Pomona College graduation disrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters near USC

Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered near the Shrine Auditorium, causing a disruption to Pomona College’s commencement.

Graduation was scheduled to take place in the auditorium on Sunday night after the school paid $100,000 to move the ceremony from its Claremont campus to the site near USC.

The protest also led to the closure of USC’s University Park campus and the nearby USC Village.

Protesters from the pro-Palestinian group demand that Pomona College divest from companies and weapons manufacturers linked to Israel.

The Los Angeles Police Department published in X, formerly known as Twitter, saying there was an altercation between a protester and an officer.

“A group of protesters charged at responding police officers and one protester attempted to hit an officer. The resulting police response has restored calm and a small group of protesters remain in the area.

Officers will remain in the area until all participants have safely left. The protester who attempted to hit an officer was arrested for assault on a police officer. “Once this suspect has been processed, additional information will be available.”

There have been multiple protests at USC in recent weeks, as pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups converged on campus.

Last week, LAPD officers in riot gear cleared another encampment formed by pro-Palestinian protesters on campus, while 100 protesters had set up tents and erected banners in Alumni Park, located in the center of the private university.

USC is not the only local university where protesters and counterprotesters have clashed in recent weeks.

At the University of California, Los Angeles, law enforcement was noticeably absent when violence broke out on campus between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters.

Dozens of counterprotesters, many wearing white masks and carrying flags over their shoulders, arrived around 10:45 p.m. on April 30 and attempted to dismantle the pro-Palestinian camp.

Protests over the war in Gaza have overwhelmed some university campuses across the country. Lawmakers at the Capitol are divided over how to handle the riot.

The war in Gaza has continued since October 7 last year, following the Hamas-led attack on Israel. About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed and several Israeli hostages were also taken.

Israel’s response has continued since the attack, with an estimated 35,000 Palestinians killed, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

The war continued as Israeli forces advanced towards Rafah on Sunday.