Quebec premier says police should dismantle pro-Palestinian student camp

Last Updated: June 19, 2024By

Campus Clash: Protests and Police in Canada


Quebec’s boss dude said cops gotta start tearing down this “illegal” pro-Palestinian camp that’s been squatting at McGill University in Montreal for a week now. Meanwhile, students at big shot Canadian unis are upping the ante, demanding their schools cut ties with anything related to Israel.

François Legault, the Quebec honcho, told the press, “Yo, this camp is illegal. Gotta play by the rules, so cops, go do your thing and break it up, just like McGill asked.”

McGill University, the protest central, has been begging for police backup, but so far, nada. The cops haven’t budged those campers an inch.


Earlier, a Quebec court shut down a request from two students to relocate the camp. These kids argued that the current spot messes with their ability to hit class safely.

But Judge Chantale Masse shut them down, saying they didn’t prove they’re getting hurt real bad. She reckons booting out the protesters would really mess with their freedom to speak up.

Last Thursday, folks waving Israeli flags squared off against the campers, with the cops playing the ref. No one got busted, though.


Meanwhile, students at three schools in British Columbia and the University of Ottawa also set up camp. Cops were there too, but unlike in the US where over 2,000 got cuffed, Canada’s kept it chill.

At the University of Toronto, students straight-up crashed a fenced-off area, pitching tents left and right. They’re demanding the school spill the beans on its investments, cut ties with anything supporting Israel’s grip on Palestine, and dump partnerships with Israeli schools.

Israel’s saying they’re not about that apartheid life and that their Gaza moves aren’t genocide.

Sandy Welsh, a bigwig at the University of Toronto, backtracked on booting the protesters, saying they can stay if they keep it cool. She’s worried about the growing crowd and whether they’re even part of the U of T scene.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office didn’t add much, just repeating his spiel about campuses being for learning and free speech, but only if everyone feels safe. And right now, Jewish students aren’t feeling it.

Some Jewish groups are calling the protesters anti-Semitic, but the organizers say that’s a no-go, pointing out some of their own are Jewish too.

Reuters had a hand in this report.

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