Harvard Students Set Up Encampment, Joining Other College Protests Of War in Gaza

Despite Harvard restricting access to Harvard Yard, students still set up an encampment to protest Israeli military action against Palestinians.
Students at Harvard and MIT who support Palestinian civilians in Gaza rally in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday at an MIT encampment.
Students at Harvard and MIT who support Palestinian civilians in Gaza rally in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Monday at an MIT encampment.

Harvard University students joined the actions of students at numerous other colleges across the U.S. when they set up an encampment Wednesday afternoon to protest the war in Gaza and demand that Harvard divest itself from financial ties to Israel.

The encampment was erected two days after the Ivy League university suspended the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee after the group staged a rally Friday in support of student protesters across the country. Harvard told the organization that it had failed to register for the demonstration, according to the Harvard Crimson, and because of that the group would not be recognized and wouldn’t have access to university benefits and services. On Sunday, Harvard restricted access to Harvard Yard, seemingly preparing for any protests; however, that did not stop the encampments from being set up there on Wednesday.

About 13 tents have been set up, according to the Harvard Crimson, the campus newspaper, and a video shows hundreds of students outside the encampment in a dabke dance circle.

Harvard did not immediately respond to a request from HuffPost for comment. Harvard’s police department directed any inquiries to the university administration. On Monday, Alan M. Garber, Harvard’s interim president, declined to rule out a police response to protests.

College students across the country are protesting the Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip, which began after Oct. 7, when a shock attack led by the Hamas militant group in Gaza left 1,200 Israelis dead and more than 200 people taken hostage. Since Israel’s retaliatory strikes began, an estimated 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 2 million people have been displaced. Those who remain trapped in the enclave are now facing a devastating famine.

On Thursday, more than 100 protesters were arrested at Columbia University. About 120 protesters were arrested at New York University on Monday. On Tuesday, nine people at the University of Minnesota and two at Ohio State University were arrested.

At the University of Texas at Austin, state police offices began arresting student protesters on Wednesday. UT officials had previously sent out a letter to students that said the university would not tolerate disruptions “like we have seen at other campuses,” according to the Dallas Morning News. UT did immediately responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment. The Austin Police Department said in a comment to HuffPost that it was providing assistance to campus police. The campus police department, however, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement to HuffPost that there were 20 arrests made by police on campus Wednesday.

At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, campus police began tearing down students’ encampments on Wednesday. In a statement on its website, USC said it has closed campus gates and is “taking action to restrict growth of the protest and keep the rest of the campus calm. Until further notice, [we] are restricting unauthorized visitors from entering campus.”

Popular in the Community


What's Hot