News live updates

​Live Updates: Student encampment, May 6–7

The Scientists Against Genocide Encampment was established over two weeks ago on April 21.

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2:55 pm: A crowd gathers around the encampment
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3:02pm: A few protesters remain inside.
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2:39 pm: A protestor writes down the number to call for lawyer representation in case of arrest on another protestor's arm
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2:37 pm: Cambridge and MIT police block students from entering the encampment.
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3:06 pm: Students protest outside the entrance to the encampment.
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3:54 pm: Protesters move to Lobby 7; the police are not letting anyone through that entrance
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3:50 pm: Counterprotestors at the outskirts of the encampment
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4:22 pm: Pro-Palestine protesters block Mass Ave
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4:32 pm: State police stand between pro-Palestine protestors and counterprotestors
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3:58 Counter Protesters in front of Stud
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4:00pm - Protestors and counter protestors stand side by side waving flags.
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4:02 - Protestors speaking to an encampment member from within.
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4:05 - Students rally opposite of main protest on Kresge
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4:09 - High school protestors arrive on Mass Ave
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4:11 - High school protestors arrive on Mass Ave
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4:22 Onlookers watch the protests from Stud 2
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4:00pm - Protest on Lobby 7 steps, right before protestors take Mass Ave.
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4:06pm - Protestors sit in in front of Lobby 7 entrance.
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4:26pm - Chalking outside of Compton Laboratories and Stata show support for the Palestinian cause.
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4:50 pm: Protesters sit down in Mass Ave
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5:41 pm: Students link arms around the encampment after breaking through the barrier
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5:58 pm: Students protest at the encampment with a large cardboard structure urging MIT to "take down your apartheid wall".
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4:46 pm: A pro-Palestinian protester sits in front of the Stud
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5:50 pm: Students link arms around the encampment after breaking through the barrier.
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5:47 pm: Protesters link arms around the encampment after breaking down the barricade
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6:12pm: News helicopters circle overhead above Kresge.
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5:38 PM: Protestors run to join other protestors linking arms around the encampment.
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5:39 PM: A protestor waves a Palestinian flag
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5:44 PM: Protestors dismantle the barricade put up by MIT Police.
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5:47 PM: Media descends on the encampment after barricades fall.
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5:48 PM: Protestors continue to dismantle the barricades.
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5:49 PM: Protestors form a human chain and yell out chants in support of the Palestinian cause.
Omar Orozco–The Tech
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5:46 PM: Mass Ave remains closed as the sit-in disperses.
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6:45 PM: 15 minutes after Stud closure, MIT security operations take hold of Stud 4 studio space to monitor the situation.
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6:49 PM: More chalking is visible on main campus.
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8:43 PM: Speaker arrives and gives a speech before the encampment, after most police forces have dispersed.
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4:18 PM: Students allowed to leave Lobby 7, but not enter.
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5:41 PM: News covers the protest
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5:44 PM: SERT separates Pro-Israeli protestors and Pro-Palestinian protestors.
The Tech
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8:43 pm May 06. The pro-Palestinian encampment was reestablished earlier in the day.
The Tech
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7:41 pm: The protesters are now sitting around the encampment, with a crowd still gathered outside the broken barricade, but the counterprotestors have left.
The Tech

Publisher's Note: Live reporting for this feed has concluded as of Tuesday, May 7 at 9:36 p.m, with its last update coming in at 7:58 p.m. Further coverage will be reported through separate articles.

This is a developing story. Updates are issued live as new developments in the situation occur. Headlines are subject to change. 

Primary reporting by Ellie Montemayor '26 and Karie Shen '27.

Additional reporting contributions from Alex Tang '26, Geoffrey Enwere '26, Vi Trinh '27, and Russel Ismael VS. Photos by Isabella Yu '24, Alexa Simao '25, Omar Orozco '25, Marcelo Maza '25, Ellie Montemayor '26, and Michelle Xiang '26.


TUESDAY, MAY 7  Pro-Palestinian demonstrators continue to hold encampment despite disciplinary action, pro-Israeli event held on Kresge Oval

7:58 PM: As of 7:58 p.m., no students reportedly referred to the Committee of Discipline have received official notice about their suspensions. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators continue to hold the Kresge Oval encampment by Tuesday night.

6:53 PM: The pro-Israeli event has concluded without escalation. A small contigency remain standing near the fencing around the encampment while playing music through a speaker. MIT Police remain on-site. Officers from Cambridge Police have also been observed patrolling the area. (9:07 PM clarification: the anticipated support rally coming from Harvard did not seem to significantly alter the pro-Israeli event at Kresge Oval. The event at Harvard Yard reportedly had low attendance, and reporters from The Tech were unable to confirm if participants had rallied to Kresge Oval.)

4:52 PM: Dozens of pro-Israeli demonstrators congregated around the speaker system, which was set up against the outer barricade of the encampment facing McCormick Hall, as a brief speaker series began. (5:05 PM update: the event later transitioned to streamed music and a cappella performances.)

4:25 PM: Reporters for The Tech observed that the Student Center has returned to tap access, alongside signage posted on the door requiring tap to enter the building. (5:32 PM clarification: reports indicate that the building may have been on tap access as early as 2:30 p.m.)

4:24 PM: Some organizers clarified that the Israel event was intended as a "celebration, not a rally." Organizers also began setting up speaker systems for use during the event.

4:14 PM: A few dozen demonstrators join the pro-Israeli event, and begin distributing food and playing on the field. No significant interactions have been observed between pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrators. An increased MIT police presence was observed on the scene.

3:55 PM: A small congregation of pro-Israeli demonstrators took up the open space of Kresge Oval adjoining the chapel. Demonstrators began putting up Israeli and American flags and pro-Israeli signage against the tarped barricade partially enclosing the encampment.

3:37 PM: In an email sent at 3:31 p.m., Chancellor Melissa Nobles warned of disciplinary consequences "in light of yesterday's actions." Nobles wrote that "dozens of interim suspensions and referrals to the Committee on Discipline" have been initiated following a letter outlining disciplinary consequences distributed to protestors in the encampment yesterday. Nobles justified these actions as "necessary" to ensure campus safety.

3:11 PM: A small congregation of less than a dozen pro-Israeli protestors were observed gathering by Johnston Gate at Harvard University.

2:00 PM: A pro-Israeli community rally is reported to begin at Harvard Yard at 3 p.m. and will move to MIT by 4 p.m. to join a pro-Israeli event on Kresge Oval. 

12:30 PM: MIT facilities workers began re-establishing a tarp-covered six-foot barricade surrounding the encampment, feet away from the ad hoc fencing set up by the pro-Palestinian demonsrators last night. The barricade currently encloses around half of the encampment's perimeter, facing McCormick Hall and Maseeh Hall and extending to the walkway adjacent to the chapel; this enclosure has not been extended to the sides facing Kresge Auditorium and the Student Center. 

Three-foot-tall barricades continue to enclose the field off 84 Mass Ave where the "MIT Dahdouh Welcome Center" was temporarily erected by pro-Palestinian demonstrators during a rally on May 1. Reports indicate that the barricades are meant to be temporary and will not be expanded unless the situation escalates.

12:29 PM: Pro-Israeli demonstrators were observed placing dozens of small Israeli flags on an open corner of Kresge Oval near the Student Center. This demonstration of pro-Israeli sentiment coincides with a nationwide flag-placing project organized by the Young America's Foundation (YAF), an organization that describes itself as a "leading organization for young conservatives." (May 8 10:09 a.m. clarification: an earlier version of this article describes the action at MIT as being affiliated with the nationwide project on college campuses as organized by the YAF. This claim was contested by MIT Israel Alliance president Eitan Moore ’26.)

11:30 AM: The MIT Israel Day event celebrating the Israeli Day of Independence has been postponed to May 14 from an original plan for today at Kresge Oval, according to an email from MIT Hillel. In the same email, an "Israel event" with speeches, food, and an a cappella performance was announced to be held at 4 p.m. today on Kresge.

10:15 AM: Workers from MIT Facilities were observed clearing out the torn-down six-foot-tall barricades.

8:34 AM: The Student Center has reopened to normal public access and card access for student offices, with reports of signage being taken down and the center being open since 8:10 a.m.

7:50 AM: The Student Center is closed indefinitely until further notice, according to signage posted on the main entrance of the building.


MONDAY, MAY 6 — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators swarm Kresge Oval encampment, police force mobilized

11:16 PM: As of 11:16 PM, all reporters from The Tech have left the site of the encampment and are no longer providing live updates from the ground. The Tech will continue to monitor the situation as it develops overnight and re-deploy reporters to the scene as major events play out.

10:59 PM: An MIT Police cruiser stationed by the Zesiger Center briefly switched on its siren before exiting the premises.

9:58 PM: MIT Police officers continue to patrol the Infinite and Lobby 7. Nearby Institute buildings remain on card access, and the Student Center and Lobby 7 remain closed. No city police officers or state troopers were observed patrolling the area.

9:07 PM: In a statement to the MIT community at 9:07 p.m., President Kornbluth provided an update on the status of the encampment and recounted the day's events. Kornbluth acknowledged the continued presence of state troopers as well as Institute and city police officers, and stated that nearby Institute buildings were to remain on card access.

9:06 PM: Encampment affiliates began to repurpose the knocked-down three-foot-tall barricades to again surround the encampment. The taller barricades remained on the ground.

Cambridge Police also reportedly began clearing the premises. Some officers from MIT Police remained monitoring the area.

8:50 PM: The speech concluded, and demonstrations ended once again as students and supporters continued to hold Kresge Oval.

8:35 PM: After an intermission, demonstrations resumed at the encampment as another speaker took up the megaphone.

8:16 PM: As of 8:16 PM, the crowd at the Student Center plaza had largely dispersed into a few dozen spectators and pro-Palestinian protestors. State troopers and many police officers left the premises as the situation gradually de-escalated.

8:12 PM: A planned inaugural reception for incoming UA President and Vice President Enoch Ellis '26 and Rishika Bansal '26, to be hosted in the Student Center tonight, was officially postponed due to the building's continued closure.

8:04 PM: The Mass Ave sit-in ended as the demonstrators joined the group at the encampment. Traffic on Mass Ave resumed shortly. Major demonstrations at the encampment ended, and the fervor that had taken hold of the Student Center plaza calmed as demonstrators conversed and ate food distributed from the encampment.

8:02 PM: A group of state troopers and city police officers moved from their post near the Student Center to supervise the sit-in on Mass Ave.

7:14 PM: Reporters from The Tech observed that the pro-Israeli counterprotestors have left the scene. Israeli and American flags were no longer visible at the Student Center Plaza. Speakers continued to speak at the encampment, and pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the Mass Ave sit-in continued to chant.

7:09 PM: The organizers of the pro-Palestinian encampment declared their intent to continue holding the Kresge Oval space overnight as student demonstrators returned to organizing encampment supplies and setting up for another overnight stay.

7:03 PM: More police officers from the Special Emergency Response Team joined the force on standby in front of the Student Center.

6:55 PM: A contingent of uniformed police officers affiliated with the Special Emergency Response Team armed with zipties moved in from Mass Ave and are currently on standby behind the metal barricades previously held by the pro-Israeli counterprotestors.

6:53 PM: The majority of vocal pro-Israeli counterprotestors have left their position in front of the Student Center.

6:41 PM: Pro-Israeli demonstrators called out Massachusetts State House representative Mike Connolly, who was in attendance in support of the action by the pro-Palestinian protestors and who has visited the campus in support of the campus movement and its encampment, to "hold up an American flag."

6:40 PM: State police officers and the chief of MIT Police are reportedly reluctant to make arrests, and continue to be on standby.

As of 6:40 PM, a small contingent of pro-Palestinian protestors continue their sit-in on Mass Ave. The street remains closed off.

6:22 PM: As of 6:22 PM, the Student Center is closed to the public. The front and back entrances of the building are staffed by police officers and workers from SOLE.

6:13 PM: The Student Center will reportedly be closed starting 6:30 PM with all occupants being removed from the building, according to building workers.

6:06 PM: The sit-in on Mass Ave, reportedly composed largely of the student supporters from local high schools, began to disperse.

6:01 PM: Four news helicopters are now flying overhead.

5:56 PM: Demonstrators tore down the six-foot barricades facing Kresge Auditorium. (6:11 PM clarification: the barricades facing Maseeh Hall and McCormick Hall remain standing.)

As the pro-Palestinian demonstrators established control of Kresge Oval, the event turned into a mix of prepared speeches from speakers and chanting. Pro-Israeli counterprotestors continued to speak out from their position in front of the Student Center against the pro-Palestine speakers.

5:51 PM: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators brought out a tent and other supplies that were returned to the encampment. They also brought out a mock watchtower made of cardboard with a poster writing, "MIT — take down your apartheid wall." (6:04 PM addition: more supplies continued to be brought out in carts and boxes.)

5:41 PM: Dozens more students and demonstrators joined the human chain as pro-Palestinian demonstrators continued to chant.

5:35 PM: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators pushed down and broke through the metal barricades closest to the chapel. Within minutes, demonstrators stormed the barricades and broke the walls down almost in their entirety. They mobilized in groups and linked arms around the tents, fully encircling the encampment.

5:31 PM: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators started tearing down the tarps covering the encampment's barricades and pushing against the barricade.

5:30 PM: Several students and pro-Palestinian demonstrators scaled the fence and entered the encampment. This action was met with cheers and increased energy from the pro-Palestinian group outside the encampment.

5:28 PM: Three staff administrators stationed at the main entrance of the Student Center began requiring individuals attempting to enter the building to tap their MIT IDs on installed card readers. (May 7 8:14 AM retraction: an earlier version of this article noted that elevator use in the building was also restricted to tap access. This statement was later determined to be incorrect.)

5:27 PM: A sound resembling a police siren began playing on a megaphone, and was determined to be initiated by a pro-Israeli demonstrator. The sound was silenced a minute later. (May 7 8:11 AM clarification: this sound was played several more times over the course of the day. In all times unless specified otherwise, the sound was determined to have originated from the pro-Israeli group.)

4:39 PM: All on-the-ground news and media reporters were reportedly escorted away from the Student Center plaza. Reporting teams continued to hold interviews and provide coverage from Mass Ave.

4:34 PM: Two news helicopters from NBC News and WCVB returned, encircling the area. A drone, whose affiliation is undetermined, was also seen hovering overhead. (5:29 PM clarification: the drone was determined to be capturing footage for Boston 25 News.)

4:30 PM: A large contingent of state police as part of the Special Emergency Response Team mobilized on Student Center Plaza and separated the pro-Palestinian protestors from the pro-Israeli group. Officers dressed in motorized police gear were also spotted approaching from the direction of Killian Court. Metal barricades separating the groups also began to be set up.

4:26 PM: Instances of pro-Palestinian chalking were also reported outside Compton Laboratories and Stata Center.

4:12 PM: The entrance to Lobby 7 was closed off from access, with police patrolling the entrance. An MIT Advisory Alert was issued on 4:12 PM. (5:26 PM addition: the pro-Palestine group initiated a sit-in at the Mass Ave crossing and a speaker series was established as participants began writing on the street with chalk.)

4:10 PM: At around the same time as the Lobby 7 group moved to Mass Ave, a small group of student demonstrators unrolled large banners styled as receipts and attempted to set up tents during a sit-in in the lobby. They were detained and removed from the lobby, and continue to sit atop the steps of the lobby. No arrests were made.

4:04 PM: The pro-Palestine group in front of Lobby 7, which has grown significantly in size, moved to occupy Mass Ave and began blocking traffic. Police began redirecting traffic from the Vassar Street intersection.

3:58 PM: Cambridge Police officers moved away from the encampment to separate the pro-Palestine group by the encampment entrance from a forming pro-Israeli counterprotest near the Student Center.

3:52 PM: A force of seven state troopers were seen approaching the encampment from Mass Ave, approaching from the direction of Harvard Bridge. More pro-Israeli counterprotestors were seen in the area.

3:46 PM: A second pro-Palestine group was spotted forming at the steps of Lobby 7.

3:42 PM: A state trooper was seen entering the area and is currently stationed between the Student Center and the Zesiger Center alongside a force from MIT Police. The chief of the MIT Police confirmed that current police response to the developing situation involves coordination between MIT Police, Cambridge Police and state police.

A smaller gathering of pro-Palestinian demonstrators were also seen at a second "emergency exit" opening of the encampment facing McCormick Hall.

3:27 PM: A group of three pro-Israeli counterprotesters stood upon picnic tables in front of the Student Center, where many of the belongings and supplies from the encampment were moved. They held up American and Israeli flags and began chanting against the pro-Palestinian protestors.

3:17 PM: Reporters for The Tech have noted eight individuals who remain inside the encircled encampment. They appear to be a mixture of students and non-students. (5:17 PM clarification: there are five MIT students and three MIT faculty inside the encampment. They plan to remain indefinitely.)

3:09 PM: President Kornbluth’s deadline of 2:30 passed. Hundreds of students and spectators are in the Kresge Oval area, with many watching from the second floor balcony of the Student Center. Police on bikes have formed a blockade around the entrance of the encampment.

2:40 PM: Reporters for The Tech observed a group of individuals moving from Kendall Square to the Kresge Oval. They are reported to be supporters of the encampment from neighboring universities and high schools.

2:36 PM: Officers dressed in motorized gear were seen approaching the encampment. Contingents of MIT Police and Cambridge Police monitored the area. (Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly described the uniforms as "riot gear." This has been corrected as of 7:28 PM.)

2:25 PM: News helicopters for NBC News and WCVB began circling the area for live coverage.

1:44 PM: In a statement to the MIT community at 1:44 p.m., MIT President Sally Kornbluth set a deadline for clearing the Pro-Palestinian encampment on Kresge Oval by 2:30 p.m., referencing the warning issued by Chancellor Nobles just minutes earlier.

Encampment affiliates continued to move supplies and belongings out of the area as the demonstration surrounding the encampment grew in numbers.

1:13 PM: A letter signed by Chancellor Melissa Nobles to those within the encampment warned of varying degrees of academic suspension to students who remained. The letter was issued physically to those in the encampment. Those not already in the encampment were no longer allowed entry even when providing MIT ID.

Not long after the warning was issued, spectators and demonstrators began to gather by the entrance and confronted the officers manning the checkpoint. 

This action came after another round of failed negotiations between MIT administration and the organizers of the campus pro-Palestine movement that day. Both the administration and the organizers detailed a series of bad-faith negotiation tactics initiated by the other side.

People affiliated with the encampment also began moving valuables and belongings from the encampment. Many tents were taken down. Some of the supplies were brought in front of and inside the Student Center.

8 AM: At around 8 AM on Monday, May 6, an I.D. checkpoint was set up at the entrance of the Scientists Against Genocide Encampment and manned by MIT Police and staff administrators from the Division of Student Life. Access to the encampment was restricted to MIT affiliates, and anyone entering the encampment was ordered to tap on card readers. This action by the administration came after the encampment was enclosed from all sides by a six-foot-tall barricade and tarped over on Friday, May 3rd, in anticipation of a pro-Israel rally.