Anti-Israel encampments ending at McGill, University of Ottawa 

McGill University is dismantling the anti-Israel encampment that has been occupying its campus for weeks, while protesters at the University of Ottawa are ending their encampment voluntarily.

The far-left activists failed to force either university to pursue a boycott and divestment of the Jewish state.

McGill University announced Wednesday that it had hired a private security firm to clear out the encampment, which started Apr. 27, after Montreal police proved unwilling to do so.

In a statement to True North, the university noted that few members of the McGill community are in the demonstration that has caused “significant health and safety risks” and that the encampment has been “a magnet for violence and intimidation.” 

University president and vice-chancellor Deep Saini said “McGill will always support the right to free expression and assembly within the bounds of the laws and policies that keep us all safe,” but that recent events that have taken place at the encampment “go far beyond peaceful protest”

Last weekend, violent pro-Palestinian protesters smashed windows on campus and allegedly assaulted a security guard.

Encampment protesters had also come under fire for running a “revolutionary” summer camp for youth with lessons on “Islamic resistance,” and for staging an occupation of a McGill administration building. 

Encampment organizers are outraged with McGill’s move to evict them.

In a statement to the media, the Divest for Palestine Collective said, “we were told that we were breaking into our own campus to protest the fact that our tuition money is being used to fund companies that kill Palestinians.” 

They added that “as we continue to see bodies pulled from the rubble… students will not end the fight for divestment at this encampment.”

McGill’s campus will be closed today to allow for the encampment to be cleared, with classes being moved online.

Anti-Israel students and activists who had been occupying the University of Ottawa’s Tabaret lawn since Apr. 30 have also opted to vacate the premises.

Encampment organizers cited an “impasse in negotiations” with the university’s “cruel” leadership as their reason for throwing in the towel.

“We reached an impasse in negotiations as the direct result of the university claiming they had zero powers to do anything about the funds they manage and in fact do have full control over,” organizer Sumayya Kheireddine said in a statement to the media.

“At best, this university and president are out of touch with reality. At worst, they are simply cruel, and only guided by greed and immune to the suffering of others,” she added.

Before the dismantlement, University of Ottawa encampment activists had escalated their protest tactics, on Sunday erecting a plywood barricade outside the Tabaret administration building and placing a lock on the main doors of the building. 

CTV also reported that the encampment had attracted Ottawa’s homeless population, who set up their own tents on the university’s lawn.

Anti-Israel encampments at other Canadian universities have also recently been dismantled, including at the University of Waterloo, Western University, University of British Columbia, and the University of Toronto.

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