Protesters gather outside of UW commencement


SEATTLE - As thousands of University of Washington graduates received their degrees Saturday at CenturyLink Field, protesters showed up outside of the venue to have their message heard by the commencement speaker.

The message was for former U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman.

The group of pro-Palestine protesters handed out fliers when people were on their way into the venue for the university’s 138th commencement.

Huntsman has ties to a giant machine maker, Caterpillar, whose bulldozers have played a role in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

An Olympia woman, Rachel Corrie, stood down a Caterpillar bulldozer in the West Bank 10 years ago. She was crushed to death.

“For someone who lived there for half my life, I’ve seen a Caterpillar bulldozer used by the Israeli army to destroy homes, to destroy farms, destroy hopes for Palestinian people for a better future,” said protester Amin Odeh.

Huntsman never mentioned the protesters during his speech.