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Students and activists late Tuesday gathered on Beacon Street outside Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun's house for a sit-in, attracting attention from law enforcement.
The protest is the latest installment of a month-long campaign against a $7.8 million contract that university researcher Glen Pierce has with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
The university publicly defended the contract earlier this month, saying in a statement that "this research grant, obtained by a Northeastern University professor during the Obama administration, is for data research to prevent the import and export of weapons of mass destruction. While we support the right and the freedom to protest, we hope that those who are planning to [protest] will take the time to learn the facts."
The protest came as the House and Senate reached the end of formal sessions right down the street. But, according to organizers, there was no connection.
"Today is our national day of action. This is happening at different organizations across the country," said full-time volunteer Carlos Gabriel, who works with Movimiento Cosecha, a nonprofit that organized the protest. According to the group's website, various other protests occurred in other locations, such as New York and Silicon Valley.
Boston police and state police shut traffic down and flanked the two ends of Beacon Street. A little after midnight, the remaining protesters were arrested and escorted off the street.
The protesters planned to stay outside Aoun's house through the night. As he led the crowd in a chant early in the night, Gabriel said, "We aren't leaving until they force us to!"
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