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Live updates: Pro-Palestinian protests continue at colleges across the US

The remains of a pro-Palestinian encampment on Northeastern's campus are cleared up early Saturday morning in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 27.
The remains of a pro-Palestinian encampment on Northeastern’s campus are cleared up early Saturday morning in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 27. Erin Clark/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

A Northeastern University student organization, Huskies for a Free Palestine, says it was not infiltrated by outside organizers, as school officials had said after shutting down a protest encampment at the Boston campus.

About 100 people were detained at the encampment, though the school said those with a valid school ID were released and will face school disciplinary proceedings rather than legal action. The school said in a statement that the group had been “infiltrated by professional organizers with no affiliation to Northeastern.”

“We were not ‘infiltrated’ in any way, shape or form by ‘professional protestors’, no one hired, it was comprised primarily of students,” the student group said in a statement Saturday.

Claims about hate speech: The organization is also disputing the university’s statement that the “use of virulent antisemitic slurs, including ‘Kill the Jews,'” was among the reasons for shutting the protest down.

“The only people hurling antisemitic slurs last night were Zionist counter-protestors attempting to instigate our peaceful encampment. Despite this, the university exploited this moment to lie about our encampment and justify the brutal arrest of over 100 students,” Huskies for a Free Palestine said in its statement.

Videos shared with CNN show what appears to be at least two counter-protesters holding an Israeli flag attempting to provoke the crowd to chant, “Kill the Jews.”

After yelling the antisemitic remark, one of them is heard saying, “Anyone on board? Anyone on board?” Some protesters responded with boos.

Asked for any additional comment, the school’s vice president of communications, Renata Nyul, said “the fact that the phrase ‘Kill the Jews’ was shouted on our campus is not in dispute,” citing news reports and video from the scene.

“Any suggestion that repulsive antisemitic comments are sometimes acceptable depending on the context is reprehensible,” Nyul said. “That language has no place on any university campus.”

Faculty group criticizes response: In a statement Saturday, Northeastern University Faculty & Staff for Justice in Palestine also spoke out against the university’s handling of the protest.

“We were shocked to learn that the Northeastern administration issued a statement claiming that the university’s decision to arrest those in the encampment was triggered by an antisemitic statement allegedly made by protesters,” the group said.

“Numerous videos that have been posted online, along with eye-witness accounts from a WGBH reporter and others, make it clear that the phrase in question — ‘Kill the Jews’ — was uttered by a pro-Israel counter-demonstrator who was seeking to provoke the students at the encampment.”

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