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Police Observed 2 College Students ‘Passing Supplies’ Over Harvard Yard Gate

A group of Harvard University Police Department stand outside a gate to Harvard Yard after a pro-Palestine encampment led the University to restrict access to the Yard.
A group of Harvard University Police Department stand outside a gate to Harvard Yard after a pro-Palestine encampment led the University to restrict access to the Yard. By Jack R. Trapanick
By Asher J. Montgomery, Crimson Staff Writer

Cambridge Police Department officers observed two Harvard undergraduates “passing supplies” from a vehicle to individuals who had climbed over the Harvard Yard fence Monday night, according to the Harvard University Police Department.

The incident occurred at the Canaday Fire Gate shortly after 8 p.m. on day 13 of the pro-Palestine encampment in the Yard, and led Cambridge police to alert HUPD about the situation. HUPD reported the incident in the department’s daily police logs.

HUPD officers located the two undergraduates in the vehicle and “sent them on their way.” The officers also searched for the two people who gained entry to the Yard, but HUPD could not locate or identify those individuals, according to HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano.

The police log did not state whether officers believed the supplies were passed over the fence for use in the pro-Palestine encampment.

Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, the unrecognized student group that organized the encampment, did not respond to a request for comment.

It is one of at least three incidents in the past four days of individuals attempting to climb over the gates to Harvard Yard. In anticipation of a large-scale pro-Palestine protest, the University restricted access to the Yard to non-Harvard affiliates in late April.

When the encampment started on April 24, the University indefinitely closed the Yard to the public and increased its security presence at the few gates that affiliates can use to gain access to the Yard.

The Cambridge Police Department did not have a report detailing the incident. According to CPD spokesperson Robert Goulston, officers may call their emergency communications to pass along necessary information to HUPD, which does not generate a report.

HUPD issued verbal trespass warnings to four individuals Tuesday afternoon who climbed over the 1870th gate, located behind Holden Hall.

The four individuals were identified as “tourists who wanted to see what was happening in the Yard,” according to Catalano.

HUPD officers also responded to a report of an individual climbing over the fence by Canaday Hall D around 3 a.m Sunday morning. The officer searched the area with negative results.

The log did not indicate whether officers believed the Sunday incident to be connected to the encampment.

HUPD officers have maintained a constant presence in Yard since the start of the occupation.

HUPD Chief Victor A. Clay said the department’s increased staffing since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel has cost several hundred thousand dollars. That figure will only climb with HUPD’s around the clock presence at the encampment over the past two weeks.

—Staff writer Asher J. Montgomery can be reached at Follow her on X @asherjmont or on Threads @asher_montgomery.

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