CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - “Fewer than 10” people were arrested Thursday afternoon after pro-Palestinian protesters and police clashed outside an MIT building in Cambridge, a university spokesperson confirmed.

The incident happened near the intersection of Vassar Street and Main Street, beginning near 2 p.m. 

SKY7-HD flying over the scene spotted police and protesters scuffling, with officers wrestling protesters to the ground. Police were later seen taking some people away from the scene in handcuffs.

Photos shared with 7NEWS also showed the scene as demonstrators holding signs attempted to block cars trying to exit a parking garage on Vassar Street. Many protesters stood with arms linked.

In a message near 2:40 p.m., MIT Emergency Management said the campus’ Stata Garage was blocked due to a protest. 

Around 4 p.m., police officers lined the entrance and exit of the parking garage to ensure MIT employees and others associated with the university could drive in and out.

Officials said MIT police and Cambridge police were on scene “to ensure safety for all involved” and urged people to avoid the area.

“They immediately started shoving people, shoved people to the ground several times. One of the officers, like, hugged one of my friends from behind and just didn’t let her go,” said pro-Palestinian protest organizer and MIT senior Hannah Didehbani.

However, she said that Thursday’s demonstration was effective in getting the school’s attention.

“We know that this parking garage is important for MIT’s everyday operations and they have chosen to ignore our demands for months,” she said.

Didehbani also said she had received word overnight that she had been suspended from MIT and evicted from her dorm effective later this month.

By 5 p.m., the scene in front of the parking garage had been cleared. Many of the protesters said they would return to the encampment on Kresge Lawn.

Marilyn Meyers, a senior at MIT, said the protests have made her feel unsafe on campus.

“It’s definitely been chaotic, it’s hard to focus on school. There are students who have decided that part of campus is theirs, and they broke down fences, they’ve been blocking parking lots, and no one’s doing anything about it,” Meyers said.

MIT President Sally Kornbluth addressed the campus community in a message Monday, saying that after weeks of protests, “increasing concern for the safety of our community” prompted a “new sense of urgency.” 

Kornbluth said students were asked to leave their encampment by 2:30 p.m. on Monday. Those who did not leave could face suspensions, depending on their level of involvement in the demonstration, according to a separate letter to students from MIT Chancellor Melissa Nobles.

While some protesters left the MIT encampment before the 2:30 p.m. deadline, others stayed in place. They were soon joined by the protesters who pushed past barricades and formed a human chain to reclaim the encampment.

That evening, another group of protesters blocked traffic on Massachusetts Avenue at rush hour and a smaller group of counter-protesters also showed up. State and local police surrounded the encampment demonstration but remained on the outskirts.

MIT’s graduate student union plans to host an “emergency rally” Friday afternoon, saying that the school “violently” arrested nine graduate workers and students at the protest.

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

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