Professors from Harvard University and other Boston-area colleges were arrested Thursday while protesting against President Trump’s plan to rescind an Obama-era program shielding young illegal immigrants from deportation.
Thirty-one people, including professors from Harvard, Babson, and Boston College, were arrested after forming a human chain and blocking traffic along Massachusetts Avenue, The Harvard Crimson reported.
Cambridge Police Department spokesman Jeremy Warnick said the protesters refused police orders to move.
“They were given multiple opportunities to continue their free speech, but off the main road, and they refused to move,” Mr. Warnick told the Boston Globe.
Police said the protesters face charges of disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. They were scheduled to appear before a judge Friday morning, the Crimson reported.
The Trump administration this week announced a six-month phaseout of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which protected immigrants who came to the country illegally as minors from deportation.
Walter Johnson, professor of African and African American Studies, who was among those arrested Thursday, told the Crimson he felt a “moral responsibility” to stand up for the so-called “Dreamers.”
“It just came to a point of crisis, both for the nation and for us,” Mr. Johnson said. “It seemed like it was time for us to jump off, and to try to both stand firmly with our students, to stand for justice and decency in the face of an unjust law, and to try and kick off a conversation about resistance between campuses in Boston and among faculty.”
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