Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson encampment arrests: A look at moments of connection and chaos

During and after the arrests in the ‘Popular University Encampment’ at Emerson College on Thursday, protesters demonstrated the strength of their community and commitment to the cause in the face of the police force.

Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police officers entered the encampment set up in the 2 Boylston Place alley in riot gear from both Boylston Street and the Massachusetts Transportation Building, dismantling and clearing the space and arresting 108 student protesters. 

The SJP occupation of the alleyway, which had started nearly 80 hours prior as a show of solidarity with the over 100 students of Columbia University who were arrested Friday for involvement in their own Pro-Palestine encampment, ended with the arrests of over 100  students and reports of violent treatment of those arrested. 

Protesters who were arrested on the scene have reported beatings with batons, being dragged across the ground, being kicked on the ground by officers, and having zip ties tied so tight that they caused flesh wounds, amongst other things. Head injuries, wrist injuries, and black eyes were also witnessed by Beacon staff.

The strength of the student community was also seen. Before police stormed the alley, residents of the 2B residence hall who were witnessing the events unfold communicated with protesters warning of tear gas. Other communications included how many police officers were in different buildings. During arrests, protesters in the alley embraced friends as they were surrounded by police, and others linked arms and formed human barricades. 

Emerson student protesters who weren’t arrested and other spectators crowd-funded bail money, which was $40 a person, according to an arrested student who wished to stay anonymous. The price of bail for non-Emerson Community members has not been disclosed at this time.  

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  • Students stand shoulder to shoulder as they wait for the police to arrive on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

  • A protester writes “Peace” with a heart on a cardboard sign and holds it up as police prepare to enter the Boylston Place alley on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Bryan Hecht/Beacon Staff)

  • Students in the 2 Boylston Place residence hall use paper signs to communicate tear gas safety information to protesters in the alley after reports of tear gas or pepper spray being spotted emerged on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

  • A student in the alleyway uses a cardboard sign to communicate with students watching from above in campus buildings. At around 11:45 p.m., students receive reports from onlookers of cops walking around in the Lion’s Den and Iwasaki Library and use signs to try and confirm information on police whereabouts. Protesters also wrote the contact number for a lawyer on their arm to prepare for possible arrest on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Bryan Hecht/Beacon Staff)

  • Two students embrace in preparation for arrest as Boston Police surround them on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Ella Mordarski for the Beacon)

  • A police officer rips an umbrella meant to protect against tear gas out from a student’s hand before tearing them away from the line onto the ground to be arrested on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

  • *Consent was given to publish this photo unredacted by subject* Police drag a student protestor away on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Rian Nelson/Beacon Staff)

  • A Boston Police Officer braces the front door of the Piano Row residence hall to prevent students from leaving the location. The officer has blood splattered on his knuckles on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Caroline McGinn for the Beacon)

  • Protesters funnel into the 2 Boylston Place residence hall lobby to escape arrest, where they continue to watch the rest of the raid take place while consoling each other, banging on the glass, and yelling insults at the police in the alley on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Julian Grady for the Beacon)

  • Boston Police officers line up to form a blockade in front of protesters who chant while sitting on Boylston Street before multiple arrests are made on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Bryan Hecht/Beacon Staff)

  • Protesters lock arms in a chain moments before Boston Police break into the front of the encampment on Thursday, April 25, 2024. (Julian Grady for the Beacon)

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About the Contributors
Bryan Hecht
Bryan Hecht, News Co-Editor
Bryan Hecht (he/him) is a freshman journalism major from Havertown, Pennsylvania. He currently serves as an assistant editor of The Berkeley Beacon News section. Bryan also contributes to WEBN Political Pulse and hopes one day to work in broadcast news media. As a member of the Emerson Cross Country team, Bryan can likely be found on a run around the Boston area when he's not writing for the Beacon.
Sam Shipman
Sam Shipman, Assistant News Editor
Sam Shipman (He/Him) is a freshman journalism major from Natick, Massachusetts. He currently is a Staff Writer for the Berkeley Beacon. When he's not reporting he can be found listening to music or spending time with friends.
Iselin Bratz
Iselin Bratz, Kasteel Well Bureau Co-Editor

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