stanford graduation protest walkout Palestine
© Panos Preveouros/FacebookAround 500 students walked out of Stanford's graduation ceremony on Sunday, many wearing keffiyehs and carrying Palestinian flags
Stanford University's graduation ceremony on Sunday was thrown into chaos after students staged a pro-Palestine protest and walked out.

Around five hundred students, some wearing keffiyehs and holding Palestinian flags, walked out of the stadium during the President's address, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

'This morning we want to celebrate your achievements in spite of the troubled environment,' President Richard Saller told the students moments before the mass walkout.

The school has been mired in controversy as students have publicly demonstrated against the Israel-Hamas war and called on the college to divest from its links with Israel.

A pro-Palestine encampment remained on campus for more than 100 days and thirteen students were eventually arrested during its removal.

Footage from the ceremony posted to social media shows students in their caps and gowns walking from their seats away from the speaker's stage and towards the back of the stadium.

One student was seen holding up a sign reading 'Free Palestine. Stanford Divest!'

Some in the stands cheered the students as they left the event, while other students remained seated.
© Jose Gil/FacebookStudents walk out of Stanford graduation ceremony to protest the university's affiliations with Israel
The walkout was reportedly organised by the activist group Stanford Against Apartheid in Palestine.

'We invite graduates, friends, and family to walk out of the commencement into our alternative ceremony next to the stadium, to show support for divestment and honor Palestine this graduation weekend,' the group posted on its Instagram account.

'The ceremony will include a poetic grounding, speeches from faculty and students, and a cap toss' the post added.

The group established 'The People's Commencement' alternative ceremony in a field on campus, the Chronicle reported.

Security at Stanford's official graduation was increased compared to previous years, the outlet reported.

All adults had to produce photographic identification and a clear bag policy was enforced.

Only eligible graduates were able to request tickets to the event after months of protests led organisers to be more cautious.

Stanford's protests attracted negative headlines when a photo of someone at its encampment was pictured wearing the same green headband sported by Hamas terror fighters in Gaza.

The incident, which occurred last month, was reported to the FBI, the college said at the time.

'We have received many expressions of concern about a photo circulating on social media of an individual on White Plaza who appeared to be wearing a green headband similar to those worn by members of Hamas' Stanford said in a statement last month.

'We find this deeply disturbing, as Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the United States government.

'We have not been able to identify the individual but have forwarded the photo to the FBI' the statement read.