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Denver SDS hosts People's Graduation at encampment for Palestine

By staff

Pro-Palestine students hold a counter graduation ceremony.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Denver, CO – Denver Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) hosted their People’s Graduation at the Auraria Encampment for Palestine, May 12, as a counter to the graduations of Metropolitan State University (MSU) and CU Denver. This event was held in recognition of the efforts of the organizers of the encampment, as well as a recognition of the Palestinian martyrs who face genocide in Gaza.

Over 50 participants joined in the celebration and honors at the steps of the Tivoli Student Union on the 18th day of the Auraria Encampment for Palestine. This came after the SDS enacted several successful disruptions of the MSU and CU Denver graduations.

The event started with a land demand, demanding land back for the Palestinians and indigenous peoples across the world. It ended with honorary awards to all the organizers, with a special acknowledgement to the head marshal for providing excellent safety to the camp and Paul Nelson for an honorary bachelor’s degree in Liberation Sciences from the People’s Popular University for Gaza.

Z Williams of Bread and Roses Law stated, “The universities and colleges have tried to attack you. They unleashed the domestic military forces on you. They have lied about you. They have tried to defang this camp and lull you into passivity with dialogue. To quote Paulo Freire, ‘There’s no such thing as neutral education. Education either functions as an instrument to bring about conformity or freedom.’ When the universities and institutions failed you, you made the bold and imperative choice to make your own education.”

According to organizers, this celebration doesn't mean the end of the Auraria Solidarity Encampment of Gaza. Disruptions and demonstrations will continue on Auraria Campus until the organizers’ demands for divestment are met.

The Metropolitan State University has already begun to crack to the demands of the SDS and have disclosed their investments. The disclosure revealed nearly $18 million invested in funds tied to companies that directly or indirectly aid Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the ongoing genocide in Gaza. The students still have high morale and are determined to win divestment from their universities.

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