Yale protesters plan big crowds during commencement ceremonies

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — For over three weeks, Yale grad students have been on a tag-team hunger strike. They’ve held protest marches and vigils around the university campus. Even going as far as blocking streets during morning rush hour. All in attempts to force university leaders to the negotiating table. Now they turn to Yale’s biggest event, commencement day, for a large protest to let their voices be heard.

“We are still asking Yale to come to the table,” said Charles Decker, a graduate teacher of political science. “And we want them to know that we are not going away until they do.”

Organizers with Local 33 won’t get into specific details about what exactly to expect Monday. But they’ve invited sympathizers from the entire region. They said they’re numbers are now needed in holding Yale accountable.

“They need to recognize us,” said Robin Caravan, with Local 33. “Our election results have been certified. They’re obligated to sit down with us and negotiate and they’re still not doing that.”

The protesters have succeeded in gaining the attention of fellow Yale students.

“It’s a little disruptive,” said one Yale undergrad student. “I know they were a little disruptive on move-out day, where a lot of students missed their trains.”

Whatever Monday brings, the student hopes the disruptions don’t jeopardize a chance to celebrate her graduation with out of town family.

“It is a big day for the 1,300 Yale undergrads who are graduating,” she said. “It would really be such a shame.”

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