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Students stage pro-Palestinian walkout at Stanford commencement

Hundreds of students streamed out of commencement at California’s Stanford University on Sunday as part of the spring wave of pro-Palestinian protests on American college campuses.

The students stood and exited at the beginning of a speech by outgoing university President Richard Saller, who read: “Don’t let your convictions shut out your ability to listen and learn.”

Videos verified by NBC News showed the commencement as students in black robes and Cardinal-red trim calmly marched away from their seats on the field at Stanford Stadium.

The would-be graduates were cheered on by cohorts at the stadium. The institution did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

A group called Stanford Against Apartheid in Palestine organized an “alternative graduation” set to take place after the official commencement, according to a post on its Instagram page.

The event just off-campus, in Menlo Park, was organized to support fellow students it said were prohibited from Sunday’s campus ceremonies after they were arrested at previous pro-Palestinian protests.

“Join us TODAY to celebrate and honor our arrested comrades who will have their degrees withheld for fighting against genocide,” the group’s post said.

More than a dozen protesters were arrested June 5 after they briefly took over the president’s office at Stanford, authorities said.

Some were suspended from school, they said.

The participants were part of pro-Palestinian protests calling for the institution to divest from Israel amid its war with Hamas.

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