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Protestors from Harvard rally outside MIT in support of a Gaza Solidarity Encampment established there this week.
Protestors from Harvard rally outside MIT in support of a Gaza Solidarity Encampment established there this week. By Frank S. Zhou
By Azusa M. Lippit and Asher J. Montgomery, Crimson Staff Writers

Nearly 50 Harvard affiliates rallied Monday afternoon in solidarity with an MIT “Scientists Against Genocide” encampment protest.

Protesters gathered at the Harvard Square MBTA station before taking the train two stops to Kendall Square station, from where they marched to MIT’s campus. Harvard protesters chanted and marched around the encampment before joining the MIT protesters on the grass, where speakers read from a pamphlet featuring pro-Palestine student essays.

The encampment — set up by MIT affiliates Sunday evening on Kresge Lawn — consisted of at least 15 tents with Palestinian flags and cardboard signs. Organizers from pro-Palestine student group MIT Coalition Against Apartheid — which was suspended by MIT in February — said the encampment was inspired by protesters at Columbia University. The encampment was surrounded with barricades placed by MIT Police, according to organizers.

The march comes amid turmoil at universities across the country, including the Monday arrest of 47 pro-divestment student protestors at Yale University following a weekend encampment on Yale’s Beinecke Plaza. At Columbia University, more than 100 protesters were arrested Thursday by New York City police, leading the administration to announce virtual classes on Monday.

Harvard administration restricted Harvard Yard access to only Harvard University ID holders on Sunday following the wave of nationwide student protests. Signs posted on Yard entrance gates warned of disciplinary measures against students who bring in tents or other structures to the Yard or block building entrances.

Kojo Acheampong '26 chants at the Monday rally.
Kojo Acheampong '26 chants at the Monday rally. By Frank S. Zhou

The solidarity rally aimed to “support MIT as part of the nationwide campaign to escalate for divestment,” according to a Monday Instagram post by the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee.

In a Monday email to student mailing lists, the PSC asked students to “join us today in asserting that we reject Harvard’s complicity, especially as Harvard has worked to silence and stall our calls for Divestment.”

University spokesperson Jason A. Newton wrote in a statement to The Crimson that “Harvard leadership has made clear that it opposes calls for a policy of boycotting Israel and its academic institutions.”

MIT spokespeople did not immediately respond to a Monday afternoon request for comment.

Earlier this month, the PSC protested the Harvard Undergraduate Association’s indefinite postponement of a student opinion referendum on divestment from Israel.

During the Monday protest, the PSC announced on Instagram that they had been suspended by the College for violating school policies by staging a Friday protest in Harvard Yard with unrecognized student organizations.

MIT student and Coalition Against Apartheid organizer Safiyyah O. Ogundipe said that between 30 and 40 MIT students spent Sunday night in the encampment to call for an end to sponsored research for the Israeli military.

“We’re going to be here for as long as we can, or as long as it takes, whichever comes first,” Ogundipe said.

According to Ogundipe, students and supporters donated food and tents to shelter and sustain the protestors. The encampment was planned alongside organizers at other Boston-area universities, including Emerson College and Tufts University.

Quinn Perian, an MIT undergraduate and member of Jews for Ceasefire said that while sleeping outside was “cold,” they found the experience to be “inspiring.”

“As a Jew and as my whole group, actually interacting with these people, and actually being part of this group — it’s such an incredible and supportive group — always checking in on each other,” Perian said.

At the rally, speaker and MIT organizer Mohamed Mohamed referenced two student referenda — both undergraduate and graduate — in which “an overwhelming majority” of students voted in favor of a ceasefire and “to cut MIT ties” with the Israel Defense Forces in Palestine.

Mia Montrose ’26, an organizer with the African and African American Resistance Organization — one of the co-organizers of the rally — said that the unrecognized student group’s attendance is “a form of solidarity.”

“AFRO has been building a coalition with a bunch of the groups across the Cambridge-Boston area in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle,” she said. “We’re all here because we all care about the same thing.”

—Staff writer Azusa M. Lippit can be reached at Follow her on X @azusalippit or on Threads @azusalippit.

—Staff writer Asher J. Montgomery can be reached at Follow her on X @asherjmont or on Threads @asher_montgomery.

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