By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

The Huntington News reports on the aftermath of April’s Northeastern encampment

Centennial Common at Northeastern University. Photo (cc) 2008 by Piotrus.

The pro-Palestinian encampment at Northeastern University’s Centennial Common may have been broken up nearly as soon as it appeared, but the events of those 48 hours in late April still reverberate. Now The Huntington News, our outstanding independent student newspaper, has published a massive overview that focuses on the police response.

Reported by ,  and

The reporting speaks for itself, but I do want to highlight this:

Police ordered all individuals, including press, medics and legal observers, to leave Centennial.

Several Huntington News reporters were told to leave the barricaded area under threat of their “student status.”

Boston police ordered at least five legal observers, who had monitored the encampment since it was established, to move outside of the barricade.

How the press was treated when the encampment was broken up and arrests began on the morning of Saturday, April 27, has been a matter of controversy. Police officers have an obligation to move observers out of the way so that they’re not a hindrance and are not in danger of getting hurt. On the other hand, those observers should not be moved so far from the scene that they don’t have a clear view of how the police are doing their jobs. Journalism’s obligation is to bear witness at such moments.

Urszula Masny-Latos, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild of Massachusetts, told the News that the police moved observers “as far from the scene as possible so [the police] would not be easily visible.” She also said that Boston police overruled campus officers “and forced NLG legal observers off the grounds where the arrests happened.”

The Boston Police Department reportedly did not respond to the News about their actions.

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2 Comments

  1. Steve Schnapp

    Thank you for covering the reporting by the Huntington News. I also appreciate the points you highlight. My sense is that such behavior by police — hostile, disorganized, and inconsistent treatment of both protesters and observers, including media reps, is standard operating procedure for peace and justice protests.

    Also, while your characterization of the Northeastern encampment (“pro-Palestinian) is accurate, the main demand at this other campus protests has been “Ceasefire Now.” I hope you would consider mentioning this when characterizing such activity. The sign I carry at the more than 40 marches, stand-outs, and rallies I’ve attended since October 7 is “Ceasefire Now – Release All Hostages.” Such messages are ubiquitous at these events.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Steve, the main organizers of the encampment were Huskies for a Free Palestine. Here is their Instagram page. Let me know if you find anything calling for the release of the hostages. And good for you for keeping that message consistently in the forefront.

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