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Northeastern says campus protest arrests were "necessary to restore civility"

Northeastern students arrested at pro-Palestinian protest charged in court
Northeastern students arrested at pro-Palestinian protest charged in court 01:30

BOSTON - Some of the people arrested at a pro-Palestinian protest at Northeastern University appeared in court on Monday, as other Boston-area colleges call on students to take down encampments on their campuses.

Police cleared the Northeastern encampment on Centennial Common early Saturday morning and detained about 100 people with zip ties. 

Northeastern chancellor Ken Henderson and provost David Madigan released a statement Monday about the arrests. They said of the 98 people arrested, 29 were Northeastern students and six were staff.

Police clear a pro-Palestinian encampment at Northeastern University. CBS Boston

Northeastern police determined "the protest would soon present a threat to the safety of all involved," the administrators said, citing "intolerant and hurtful speech" heard on campus.

"The escalation of tensions on Friday night made it necessary to restore civility and ensure that our campus is a place where all students-including the more than 8,000 who are celebrating their commencements this week-can share in full and free access to space and facilities," they said. 

Kyler Shinkle-Stolar spoke to reporters after he faced trespassing charges in court and was ordered to stay away from Northeastern for six months unless he's there on "official business." He said he was arrested on the first day the encampment popped up and jailed for several hours.

"My experience has been nothing compared to what thousands of Palestinians, including children, face under detainment each and every day ... and nothing compared to having bombs rain down on your homes, on your mosques," he said.

MIT and Tufts call on students to end encampments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology president Sally Kornbluth said this weekend that the tent encampment on campus "is creating a potential magnet for disruptive outside protesters." She said "hundreds of staff hours" are being spent to keep the encampment safe, but it's unsustainable.

"We are open to further discussion about the means of ending the encampment," she said in a statement. "But this particular form of expression needs to end soon."

Tufts University school president Sunil Kumar said there are plans to end the encampment "in the next few days" as students prepare to graduate.

"We have even delayed some preparations for Commencement as much as possible to allow the protest to resolve peacefully," the school said. "But now the encampment must end, ideally peacefully and voluntarily, so we can prepare the campus for Commencement."

Harvard student protesters could face discipline

Some Harvard University students could face disciplinary action after a Palestinian flag was raised over a building on campus.

Harvard said in a statement that "the actions are a violation of University policy." The Harvard Crimson reported that more than 30 students are set to appear before an administrative board on Monday for possible discipline. 

What's happening at Columbia University?

The protests at Massachusetts college campuses over the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza were inspired by students at Columbia University. 

Protesters have demanded that the school divest from Israel. Columbia refuses to do so, and protesters have been given a 2 p.m. deadline on Monday to clear the encampment from the New York campus.

No indication of foreign influence in campus protests

National security and law enforcement officials tell CBS News that there is no indication that foreign influence operations are infiltrating campus demonstrations. 

They say there are external groups, including non-students, joining demonstrations in major cities, but that's not uncommon in large protests. They said counter-protesters are also a concern for police and campus security monitoring potential clashes. 

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