Apr 23, 2024 - News

Boston-area colleges see pro-Palestinian encampments pop up

A large tent off Boylston Street in Boston set up by Emerson student protesters. The sign on the tent reads, "No more money for Israel's crimes."

The encampment at Emerson College set up by student protesters. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

Encampments have gone up at multiple Boston-area colleges in solidarity with Columbia University students who have been protesting Israel's war in Gaza.

The big picture: The encampments are protesters' latest effort to bring attention to the deaths of Palestinian civilians since Israel began its ground invasion in Gaza, following the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

Catch up fast: More than 100 Columbia students were arrested last week after forming an encampment.

  • Those protesters are calling for Columbia to divest from companies they say "profit from Israeli apartheid."
  • Yale police arrested dozens of protesters calling on Yale to divest from military weapons manufacturers, per the Yale Daily News.
  • Columbia alum Bob Kraft, who created the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism, said he would no longer support the university "until corrective action is taken" and the protests are ended.

State of play: Students have set up encampments at Emerson College, MIT and Tufts University since Sunday, per NBC Boston.

  • Members of "Students for Justice in Palestine," now a non-affiliated student group that set up the encampment on Emerson's campus Monday, wants Emerson to publicly back "Palestinian liberation," WBZ reported.
  • MIT students say they want the institute to stop accepting research funding from the Israeli military.

Meanwhile, Harvard Yard is closed until Friday in anticipation of pro-Palestinian protests, the Crimson reported.

Zoom out: Student protests against and supporting the Israeli military's ground invasion — and U.S. aid to the Israeli government — have rocked campuses nationwide this year, leading to doxxing incidents, tense confrontations between factions and congressional hearings.

  • They also led to the resignations of Harvard President Claudine Gay, the university's first Black woman president, and UPenn President Liz Magill last year.

The latest: The Biden administration plans to sanction an Israel Defense Forces battalion for human rights violations in the occupied West Bank, Axios' Barak Ravid reported.

  • Israeli officials called on Biden administration officials Sunday to reconsider for fear it could lead to sanctions on other IDF units.
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