About 100 people detained from Northeastern University pro-Palestinian protest

About 100 people were arrested Saturday morning during a pro-Palestinian protest on the campus of Northeastern University in Boston, according to university officials.

The university said its police department, with help from local law enforcement, began clearing “an unauthorized encampment” on campus early in the morning.

“What began as a student protest two days ago was infiltrated by professional organizers with no affiliation with Northeastern,” the university said in its statement. statement about. “Last night’s use of virulent anti-Semitic slurs, including ‘Kill the Jews,’ crossed the line. We cannot tolerate this kind of hatred on our campus.”

A video circulating online appears to show the statement made by a counter-protester holding an Israeli flag, which was booed by other demonstrators on campus. It is not clear whether the person who uttered the anti-Semitic phrase was among those arrested or punished.

The main student organization behind the protest, Huskies for a Free Palestine, or HFP, called the administration’s statement “false narratives” and accused the administration of insinuating that the phrase had been uttered by pro-Palestinian demonstrators and using it “as a justification to arrest pro-Palestinian demonstrators”. 100 teachers, workers and students from the Northeast.

University spokesperson Renata Nyul said: “This language has no place on any university campus,” regardless of the context.

The university said that of the 100 people arrested by police, students “who presented valid Northeast identification were released.”

“They will be subject to disciplinary proceedings within the university, not legal action,” the statement said. “Those who refused to reveal their affiliation were arrested.”

Police observe Thursday as pro-Palestinian demonstrators create a human chain around an encampment set up at Northeastern University in Boston.Joseph Prezioso / AFP – Getty Images

Videos posted to the HFP’s Instagram show what the group says are students being arrested. Police officers in riot gear could also be seen in videos on campus.

“Why are you wearing riot gear? I don’t see a riot here,” protesters could be heard chanting at police, accompanied by “Who are you serving? Who are you protecting?”

In other videos posted to the HFP’s Instagram account, protesters chanted “Free, free Palestine” and “Disclosure, divestment.” We will not stop, we will not rest.”

In a update On Saturday afternoon, the university said the Centennial Common area, where people were protesting, “was fully secure and all campus operations had returned to normal.”

“We would like to thank NUPD, our Student Life staff and the university’s external partners for their flawless execution this morning,” the statement said. The university would not say who uttered the anti-Semitic slurs mentioned in its initial statement.

HFP shared a message to the administration on its Instagram regarding the arrests, which the group said primarily involved non-violent students.

“We sincerely hope that Northeastern University administration is aware. You can arrest peaceful protesters. But you CANNOT stop the movement,” the statement said. “We are students against genocide, and we always will be. Your intimidation will never change that.”

The student group said it was participating in the protest because Northeastern “refuses to even address the catastrophic humanitarian crisis created by the genocide against the Palestinians” and “refuses to sever ties with the weapons manufacturers who business with the Israeli army,” according to his Instagram account. .

HFP demands that the university disclose its current financial investments, divest from all Israeli and other companies that profit from the war in Gaza and “denounce the Israeli genocide in Palestine and call for an immediate ceasefire” as well as at the end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. .

Northeastern University is one of dozens of universities in the United States and Canada where students are protesting for Palestinian human rights after months of war in Gaza, including Columbia, the University of Southern California and Emory .

Students participating in protests on campuses across North America have demands similar to those of the HFP, including divestment from companies that could profit from war and transparency from university administrations about where they invest their money.

On Friday, Portland State University President Ann Cudd announced that the institution would suspend receipt of “any further gifts or grants” from Boeing, after receiving a letter signed by community members. The university’s Students United for Equal Rights for Palestinians accused Boeing of being “complicit in the occupation and genocide in Palestine,” according to a post on their Instagram account. A Boeing spokesperson said the company had no comment.

Many universities have said they support free speech and allow protests, but that the encampments violate school policy. On Saturday, dozens of people were arrested at other colleges that cracked down on encampments.

At Arizona State University, 69 people were arrested and charged with trespassing related to setting up an encampment, according to a university spokesperson. The school said the encampment was set up by people who were not university students, faculty or staff, and that they refused instructions to disperse.

Police arrested 23 people at Indiana University on Saturday after protesters were warned to remove tents or other structures that violated university policy. Those who did not were “detained and expelled,” the university said. Those arrested face charges ranging from criminal trespass to resisting law enforcement. It is unclear if they are affiliated with the university.

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