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Anti-Israel demonstrators gather at UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor's office, smear red paint on building


Anti-Israel demonstrators gathered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus on Saturday ahead of the commencement ceremony.

A protest was held at the campus’ Peace and Justice Plaza, where the campus chapter for Students for Justice in Palestine celebrated suspended seniors who participated in the protest at UNC, according to ABC 11.

“We know the movement for the liberation of Palestine is guided by sacrifice and deep love for the people,” Students for Justice in Palestine at UNC said in an Instagram post. “Amnesty for our students is tied to the steadfast struggle against the genocide in Palestine, and we invite you to join us in taking the university back together. BRING YOU KUFFIYEHS. BRING YOUR JOY. BRING YOUR VOICE.”

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Vandalized Chancellors building

Protestors stamp red handprint stains on the Chancellor’s building at UNC Chapel Hill, Saturday, May 11, 2024. (The Image Direct for Fox News Digital)

After the celebration, the group marched through the campus, carrying picket signs and tents, to the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower near Kenan Memorial Stadium, hours before the 7 p.m. graduation ceremony.

Protesters marched over to the South Building, which houses the Chancellor’s office, where some chanted and others threw red paint on the stairs and placed red handprints on the pillars. Some protesters also wrote on the building using chalk.

A group of several dozen protesters were on the lawn circling the Old Well, where they began chanting as students and families took graduation photos. The demonstrators then held a 15-minute moment of silence in honor of the thousands who have been killed in Gaza since October, when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, leading to military retaliation from Israeli forces.

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SEE PHOTOS: Vandalism on campus

“There are a lot of students who are brutalized and arrested and are not able to graduate today,” student protester Samuel Scarborough said at the demonstration. “Students that have been banned from campus. And so the response has been no business as usual, no justice, no peace.”

UNC graduate Alicia Buckminster said: “As a UNC graduate, we were taking our 2020 graduation away from us in high school. So, I just hope and pray that tonight we’ll be able to graduate as a class and celebrate it the correct way.”

Police later moved protesters away from the area.

SEE PHOTOS: Commencement continues

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SEE PHOTOS: Clean-up operation

The protest comes after a recent demonstration sparked a clash between anti-Israel protesters and law enforcement at an encampment that was set up in Polk Place. The university said 36 protesters were detained after failing to follow orders to disperse. 

Six of the protesters detained at Polk Place were arrested and charged with trespassing and were later released on a written promise to appear. Three of the protesters arrested are UNC students, while the other three are not affiliated with the university.



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