Monday, May 20, 2024

McGill admin: Listen to the cops and talk to students


Canada McGill University Palestine solidarity administration police student activism antagonism injunction racism genocide ethnic cleansing police

Over the past decade, the McGill university administration has repeatedly intervened to undercut Palestine solidarity

Even the Montréal police think the McGill University administration is too extreme in its crackdown on pro-Palestine student protesters.

In an embarrassing setback Québec Superior Court Judge Marc St-Pierre recently rejected McGill’s request for an emergency injunction to dismantle the student divestment encampment on its lower field, which is unused, but exceptionally well situated in downtown Montréal.

The university sought a court ruling to force the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) to intervene against the students. In its application to the court McGill claimed that it had repeatedly requested the police to forcibly dismantle the encampment, but to no avail. The court application noted: “On May 4, 2024, McGill representatives met with high-ranking representatives of the SPVM at their headquarters on St-Urbain street, to inform the SPVM that it believed the Encampment was illegal, as per comments made by the Court in the judgment rendered on May 1st, 2024, and to reiterate McGill’s concerns regarding the safety, security and public health risks at the Encampment. During this meeting, the SPVM informed McGill that an intervention would not occur in the short term, as their criteria for a police intervention were not met at that time. The SPVM suggested that McGill seek to resolve the situation peacefully over an undefined period of time, principally through dialogue with the Encampment participants.”

The McGill administration is remarkably hostile to Palestine advocacy. They refused to meet student hunger strikers calling for corporate divestment and severing ties to Israeli universities even after two were hospitalized last month. In November, the administration announced it would terminate its memorandum of agreement with the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), which regulates fees, use of name and other matters between the university and union after undergraduates voted overwhelmingly for the “Policy Against Genocide in Palestine.” In the largest referendum turnout in SSMU history, 78.7 percent of undergraduates called on the administration to sever ties with “any corporations, institutions or individuals complicit in genocide, settler-colonialism, apartheid, or ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.”  (more...)

McGill admin: Listen to the cops and talk to students

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