118 people arrested in Boylston Place Alley

State Police and Boston Police officers occupy the 2 Boylston Alley after breaking up the encampment early Thursday morning. Photo
State Police and Boston Police officers occupy the 2 Boylston Alley after breaking up the encampment early Thursday morning. Photo by Bryan Hecht

By Claire Overton and Madison Lucchesi

118 people were arrested in the Boylston Place alley early this morning.* Boston Police Department spokesman Sgt. John Boyle confirmed the arrests and announced arraignments at Boston Municipal Court will be throughout the day today.

It is yet to be determined how many of the protesters and people arrested were students or members of the Emerson College community and who could’ve been there supporting the protest.

The Emerson Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) encampment in the Boylston Place alley has been set up since Sunday. Protesters set up multiple tents, taped posters on the buildings, wrote on the bricks with chalk and sang chants throughout the few days they were there. 

The college communicated with the protesters over the past couple days, relaying information they received from the City of Boston about ordinance violations.

On Wednesday morning, the Emerson Office of Presidential Communications sent out an email to the Emerson community regarding the concerns of the Commissioners of the BPD and BFD. Both the BPD and BFD “directly informed Emerson’s leadership that some actions of the protestors are in direct violation of city ordinances, which could result in imminent law enforcement action.” The specified tents in the alleyway were in violation of the city ordinance prohibiting tents in a public right-of-way. They also spoke to Emerson regarding the violations involving blocking pedestrian access to the alley, public noise violations and fire hazards including blocking doors and hydrants.

The college is also voicing their concerns over reports they received surrounding some protesters engaging in targeted harassment of Jewish students and supporters of Israel. Emerson administration ensured the community this behavior is unacceptable and placed multiple security guards in the alleyway beginning Tuesday night, per an email sent to the Emerson College community. Security guards, who also guard the college buildings, assisted students and faculty navigating through the encampment. 

At 1:45 AM Thursday, Boston Police Officers entered the 2 Boylston Place Alley in reflective jackets and helmets. Protesters linked arms to create human chains across the alley as officers took students apart and arrested students. Social media videos show officers putting students on the ground to arrest them and carrying them into police vans. 

As of this morning, students were spread out amongst multiple precincts, including E5 and A1 waiting to hear their court dates. Emerson Students are also gathering at the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse in Boston.

At 12:46 PM, WEBN received body camera footage from Sgt. John Boyle. 

*Article has been edited to reflect updated reports of 118 arrested, not 108 as previously reported.

This is an ongoing story. Check back to this page for updates.