BOSTON (WHDH) - Police surrounded a group of pro-Palestinian protesters at Northeastern University Thursday, encircling demonstrators on the campus’ main quad before pulling back.

Students began gathering late Thursday morning. By 12 p.m., officers on scene were not allowing non-Northeastern students onto the usually open campus. Near 2:45 p.m., officers in riot gear were standing around students who, in turn, sat in a circle around a handful of tents.

Officers appeared to pull back moments before 3 p.m., with many officers returning to cruisers parked nearby. Students remained seated on the quad. Though some officers also remained on the quad, those in riot gear had left the immediate area.

“I was proud of the students for standing together, ready to get arrested if they needed to,” said Chris Black, a pro-Palestinian supporter on campus Thursday.

Matthew Garchik, who is Jewish, said pro-Palestinian supporters on campus have yelled at him when he’s walked by.

“When I’m walking around, just some Jew, they yell at me, ‘Free Palestine,’ and I go, ‘What am I going to do? You can free Palestine as much as I can,” Garchik said.

A Boston police spokesperson told 7NEWS the department was called to Northeastern to assist campus police. The spokesperson said police had no imminent plans to break up the Northeastern encampment as of Thursday afternoon.

Northeastern police are leading the law enforcement response, according to Boston police, and will be the ones to make any decision on whether to break up the camp.

7NEWS Security Analyst Todd McGhee said the best course of action for police would be to remember “why they’re out there” and only remove anyone who is non-compliant or trying to “change the peaceful energy of the protest.”

In the event that police action has to happen, it’s best handled with a surgical removal, meaning there’s a designated arrest team that identifies the one or two agitators, and allow the other dozens, if not hundreds of people to continue to protest,” McGhee said.

The encampment at Northeastern is the latest of several similar encampments in the Boston area and around the country, with other local demonstrations taking place at MIT, Tufts University, Harvard University and Emerson College.

Early Thursday morning, police moved in on the encampment at Emerson, arresting more than 100 protestors camped out in a city-owned alley near the Massachusetts State Transportation Building and between several college buildings.

No arrests have been made at the encampment as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox