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Canadian university calls pro-Palestinian camp on campus illegal

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-30 09:29
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A protester takes photos of signs at a protest encampment in support of Palestinians, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at McGill University's campus in Montreal, Quebec, Canada April 28, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

OTTAWA -- Canada's McGill University on Monday declared a pro-Palestinian encampment on its campus illegal.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the Montreal-based university said the growing encampment violated the university's policies and the law.

"McGill has been steadfast in its support of the rights of our campus community to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly, with the understanding that these must be exercised within the bounds of McGill's policies as well as the law," the university said. "We have been clear that these encampments violate both."

The situation on the lower field of McGill University's downtown campus has shifted significantly. The number of individuals who have set up tents on campus has tripled since Saturday, the university said, adding that many of them, if not the majority, are not members of the McGill community.

The university said it planned to "de-escalate before moving to steps that involve police assistance."

The protesters set up about 20 tents Saturday afternoon with the intent of staying on McGill University's lower field "indefinitely."

Meanwhile, a pro-Palestinian encampment has been set up at the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Vancouver campus.

An estimated 100 participants have put up a dozen tents, Palestinian flags, banners, local media reported.

In a statement, UBC said it was monitoring the camp and that protests should take place with respect for others and within university policies and the law.

"Any actions that create a health and safety risk, impede the university community from continuing learning, research, work and other activities on campus, or damage university property will be taken very seriously and investigated," the statement said.

Canadian protesters joined a wave of pro-Palestinian demonstrations held on campuses across the United States.

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