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Police clear Emerson pro-Palestine encampment resulting in 108 protester arrests and 4 injured officers – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News

Emerson College in Boston was the scene of a major confrontation between police and protesters this week, resulting in over 100 arrests and injuries to four officers. The incident occurred at a student-organized pro-Palestine encampment, which had been set up in an alley between the Massachusetts State Transportation Building and several Emerson College buildings.

The protests began on Sunday, with protesters setting up tents in the alley to voice their support for Palestine. However, tensions escalated as the demonstrations continued, leading to the intervention of the Boston Police Department. Police spokespersons reported that 108 protesters were arrested during the overnight operation. They also confirmed that four officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries while attempting to maintain control over the situation.

Emerson College officials responded swiftly to the events, canceling all classes for Thursday and expressing concern over the potential legal consequences faced by the protesters. In a school-wide email, officials warned students that they could face disciplinary actions for participating in the demonstration, highlighting that the alley where the encampment was set up is city property and subject to city and state laws.

The college officials also stated that they had received credible reports of targeted harassment and intimidation directed towards Jewish supporters of Israel, as well as students, faculty, and staff trying to pass through the alley. They condemned such behavior as unacceptable on their campus and emphasized that they had taken steps to ensure safe access to the alley in accordance with the law by deploying additional security staff.

Eyewitness accounts of the police operation portrayed a violent scene. Protesters described seeing individuals being kicked and pushed to the ground, as well as riot sticks being brandished against them. The use of riot gear by the police was criticized as excessive force against peaceful college students engaging in a four-day encampment. Some protesters attempted to block Boylston Street, prompting further intervention from law enforcement to keep the street open.

Emerson College student Adora Brown expressed her disappointment with the authorities’ response, stating that the level of force used was disproportionate to the situation. She emphasized that the encampment had been peaceful, with participants singing and dancing for most of the time.

The aftermath of the incident saw a police presence remaining on Boylston Street near the Emerson College campus. Crews were observed cleaning up the alley where the encampment had been situated. The arrested protesters were expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court, and friends and supporters gathered outside police stations, eagerly awaiting their release.

This event at Emerson College was part of a wider trend of pro-Palestine encampments on campuses across the country, as students and staff voice their concerns and demands related to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Other Boston-area universities, including MIT, Tufts, and Harvard, have also seen similar protests take place.

The incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing tensions and divisions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It highlights the challenges faced by educational institutions in balancing the principles of free expression and peaceful protest with concerns over safety and adherence to the law. As the nation continues to grapple with these complex issues, it is essential to find avenues for dialogue and understanding that promote peaceful resolution and respect for all perspectives.

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