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Students set up pro-Palestinian encampment protest at University of Toronto

Written by on May 2, 2024

TORONTO — A group of students at the University of Toronto say they have started a protest on campus to call on the university to cut its ties with Israel over the ongoing war in Gaza. 

The students say in a news release that they breached a newly-installed fence around an area on campus known as King’s College Circle to establish an encampment in solidarity with the Palestinian people. 

They say they are joining students at other universities in the United States and Canada in setting up encampments to call on their schools to disclose their ties with the Israeli government and divest from Israeli companies.

Several tents could be seen set up at the centre of King’s College Circle at the University of Toronto this morning, with a few police cars and private security vehicles seen parked nearby. 

Pro-Palestinian activists have pitched their tents on campuses across the country in recent days including encampments at McGill University in Montreal, the University of Ottawa ,Western University in London, Ont., and the University of British Columbia. 

A Quebec judge rejected a request for an injunction to stop the protest at McGill on Wednesday after two students at the university had asked Quebec Superior Court to order protesters to move at least 100 metres from school buildings, saying their presence had created an environment of aggression and left them feeling unsafe.

Justice Chantal Masse ruled Wednesday that the students failed to demonstrate that their access to the school was being blocked or that they would be unable to write their final exams. She also took into account statements from the protesters who argued that such an order would have a “chilling effect” on their right to free speech.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2024.

The Canadian Press