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University of Toronto convocations to begin as campus protest continues

Written by on June 3, 2024

TORONTO — Graduation ceremonies for University of Toronto students are set to begin today as a pro-Palestinian encampment remains on campus despite looming legal action.

More than 30 ceremonies are scheduled to take place through June 21, and the university says all events will proceed as planned with extra precautions in place.

The university sought to clear the encampment before convocation began through an urgent court injunction, but the presiding judge said the earliest a hearing could be held is June 19 to give protesters a fair opportunity to respond.

The delay means most of the graduates and their family members attending ceremonies at the downtown campus will likely pass by the fenced-in camp, and the university has expressed concern about potential disruptions.

But protesters have said they don’t see how their presence would disrupt graduation events, and that they’re resolved to stay until the university meets demands around divestment of companies profiting from Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

A number of high-profile Jewish organizations, who plan to seek intervenor status at the court proceedings related to the injunction, have voiced their opposition to the protest and plan to hold a news conference near campus this morning.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2024.

The Canadian Press