Protesters take to the streets during Yale graduation

yale Protesters take to the streets during Yale graduation
Yale students participate in commencement exercises while protesters line the streets of New Haven.
(WTNH / Noelle Gardner)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Just two blocks away from Yale’s commencement ceremony, over one thousand protesters gathered together trying to pressure Yale to negotiate a union contract for graduate students.

Groups walked down Elm Street and Dixwell Avenue joining in York Square. Protesters said, “We gather to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of all of you who have worked so hard.”

In February, some Yale graduate students voted to join a union. Unite Here Local 33 says the union vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board. Yale has refused to negotiate a contract with the grad students.

Aaron Greenberg said, “Over the past few weeks we did a number of things. We marched, we rallied, we picketed, we delivered petition after petition.”

Those who have been fasting were pushed in wheelchairs. As the protesters demonstrated in the streets, the commencement went on as planned.

There were a few tense moments during the commencement a protester ran on stage and grabbed the microphone before police carried him off.

Related Content: Man grabs microphone at Yale commencement, gets escorted out

Yale graduate Fangliang Guo said, “We were kind of expecting some protesting going on today.” Some graduate students don’t agree with the protesters. Guo added, “I’m a graduate student but I don’t think I’m on the same stand as them but since this is an open campus they have the right.”

After the commencement, protesters cheered for the graduates. It ended with a peaceful rally under a tent at city hall. Greenberg said the protesters have made their voices heard.

We have shown our commitment. We have shown our discipline, our creativity, our imagination and our will to win.”

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