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Dozens of arrests reported overnight at pro-Palestinian protest at Emerson College

Arrests reported as Boston Police clash with Emerson College pro-Palestinian protesters
Arrests reported as Boston Police clash with Emerson College pro-Palestinian protesters 01:39

BOSTON - On Wednesday, Emerson College notified pro-Palestinian protesters in Downtown Boston they were violating city law by occupying Boylston Place and turning it into a tent city. The college warned students that police have the right to respond.

Despite that, students didn't stand down and continued to plant Palestinian flags and signage, vowing they wouldn't leave.

Police moved in overnight and started making arrests. Numerous reports put the number in the dozens.

The school newspaper, The Berkeley Beacon, said at least 41 people were arrested.

A group called Emerson Students for Justice in Palestine claimed more than 100 arrests were made.

CBS News is seeking comment from the school, its police force and Boston police.

Confrontation between police and pro-Palestinian protesters at Boston's Emerson College early on April 25, 2024. Henry De Groot / DSA Working Mass

Working Mass, a media outlet for the local Democratic Socialists of America chapter, says at least one of its journalists has been arrested.

Working Mass Managing Editor Henry De Groot posted video on X of a confrontation between police and demonstrators and arrests being made.

Emerson students make demands   

Student protests against the Israel-Hamas war are growing in Boston. Emerson College students are demanding the administration support their message of Palestinian liberation and until then, they say they will continue occupying Boylston Place, an alley near the college.

"We're going to stay until our demands are met or until we are forcibly dragged out," said Emerson College student Amrita Bala.

Students were warned by the college Wednesday their tent-city built outside of the Department of Transportation building violates Boston city ordinances Students said they were prepared for potential repercussions.

Emerson protests
Pro-Palestinian students set up camp in Boylston Place CBS Boston

"At this point this is an effective way to make sure our demands are being met and we can keep putting pressure on these institutions," said Rayan Afif.

Students for Justice in Palestine listed demands it said had to be met before it its members would will leave the area.

"Disclose all financial ties, divest from Israel, end student suppression and call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Palestine," said one group member.

Students protest in solidarity with Columbia University  

Students say they're standing in solidarity with Columbia University after arrests were made on the New York City campus. Students at Harvard are now doing the same, with an encampment in Harvard Yard. The university warned students blocking pedestrian pathways or access to building entrances is prohibited and students could face disciplinary action.

Israeli Americans positioned themselves across the street at Emerson hoping police would take action.

"There's a residential building right there, and a lot of people I know have had to move to hotels in order to escape the noise," said Tyler Gelman.

They said they were frustrated by what they called a misinformed message and said they were hoping for calm on campus.

"They're asking Emerson to divest," Gelman said. "It's a lot of 'we want these things' but Emerson cannot provide these things."

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