The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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BREAKING: Pro-Palestine demonstrators erect encampment on Centennial Common

Jessica Xing
Pro-Palestine student demonstrators gather on Centennial Common while surrounded by a barricade of bikes, Adirondack chairs and police officers. Students sat in small groups, linking arms and chanting pro-Palestine slogans.

Following days of nationwide student demonstrations, around 30 pro-Palestine organizers gathered in Centennial Common Thursday morning for the creation of a “liberated zone.”

Though students did not have tents or posters at the 8 a.m. start of the demonstration, they huddled on tarps and chanted pro-Palestine slogans. 

By 9:15 a.m., additional students arrived with several posters and set up at least two tents. Several more tent bags could be seen in the area, and students stood in a circle with linked arms and continued chanting.

“Justice is our demand. No peace on stolen land,” protesters said, along with calls of “Viva, viva Palestina.”

The demonstration appears to have been organized by the unaffiliated student group Huskies for a Free Palestine, who have coordinated several protests over the past six months. 

The organization is demanding the university disclose its financial investments, divest from and cut ties with Israeli companies and institutions and “[denounce] Israel’s genocide in Palestine and call for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the Israeli occupation and a free Palestine.” 

Over a dozen Northeastern University Police Department, or NUPD, officers were on scene, with many arriving at Centennial prior to the start of the demonstration. Officers asked several students for ID cards and used the Common’s Adirondack chairs to erect a makeshift barricade between protesters, who were seated, and passersby on the sidewalk. 

“The quads on the Boston campus are reserved for university events,” university spokesperson Renata Nyul said in a statement to The News. “Students currently demonstrating on Centennial Quad are in violation of the Code of Conduct. Those who are not affiliated with Northeastern are trespassing. The university will take action accordingly.”

In response to the police presence, protesters chanted “Cops go home” and “Who do you protect; who do you serve.” Other chants included “Don’t talk to cops” and ”NUPD, KKK, IDF, you’re all the same.”

Immediately following the start of the protest, HFP posted on their Instagram account, instructing protesters not to produce identification and calling for additional students to join protesters in Centennial. The post also stated that NUPD officers threatened students, confiscated their belongings and kicked protesters.

“Northeastern cops immediately threaten and intimidate Northeastern students taking our OWN CAMPUS BACK IN RESISTANCE TO GENOCIDE,” the post’s caption reads. “They attempted to remove us from our own campus but we are holding strong.”

Three students link arms and chant pro-Palestine slogans. The demonstration began at 8 a.m. and gained more participants as the day progressed. (Jessica Xing)

Some attendees were seen wearing shirts reading “Northeastern faculty and staff support students.” The News was not immediately able to confirm whether they were Northeastern faculty or staff, but police did not allow anyone without Northeastern IDs on the Centennial lawn. 

Northeastern is the latest school in the Boston area to create a “liberated zone” or “Gaza solidarity encampment” on university property. At Emerson College, students occupied tents in Boylston Place starting Sunday night, and similar encampments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University drew international attention. 

Tufts University and Boston University students also organized pro-Palestine demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza and arrested Columbia students.

At Columbia University, where the arrest of over 100 students sparked the national spate of encampments, and University of Texas at Austin, students have been met with heavy police presence of arrests. One hundred and eight protesters were arrested at Emerson Thursday morning, and four police officers were injured, WCVB reported. 

Throughout the Israel-Hamas war, Northeastern has communicated nearly all information regarding its demonstration policies on an FAQ page published by its media outlet, Northeastern Global News.

The page details how the NUPD and Student Life staff attend all approved campus protests; only Northeastern students, faculty and staff are allowed to engage in on-campus demonstrations. If an unapproved protest occurs on campus, NUPD and Student Life will “speak directly with the students involved, identify student leaders, and manage the situation to ensure it comes to a quick and peaceful conclusion.”

For past updates on how the Northeastern community responded to the Israel-Gaza conflict, check The News’ continually updated news feed

Boston police officers surrounded protesters. An Instagram post by HFP stated that NUPD officers threatened students, confiscated their belongings and kicked protesters. (Jessica Xing)

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Zoe MacDiarmid contributed reporting to this story.

About the Contributors
Eli Curwin
Eli Curwin, Senior Reporter
Eli Curwin is a third-year journalism and political science combined major and a senior reporter for The News covering campus life and university administration. He has previously served as editor-in-chief and projects editor and is excited to continue bringing thoughtful and insightful reporting to The News. Follow him on X @elicurwin for updates.
Emily Spatz
Emily Spatz, Campus Editor
Emily Spatz is a journalism and political science combined major with a minor in english and campus editor of The News. She is currently a general assignment reporter co-op at and has interned at her hometown newspaper covering business, city events and politics. She hopes to continue bringing pertinent, timely and thorough reporting to the Northeastern community. You can follow her @emilymspatz on X.
Jessica Xing
Jessica Xing, Photo Editor
Jessica Xing is a third-year graphic design major with a minor in journalism. She has previously served as deputy photo editor and design editor and is excited to continue working with photographers for The News this semester.
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