Quebec court denies injunction request to remove McGill anti-Israel encampment

McGill University’s request for an injunction to dismantle an encampment of anti-Israel activists from its campus was rejected by a Quebec Superior Court judge. 

Justice Marc St-Pierre issued the decision Wednesday, ruling that the university failed to justify the urgent need to remove the camp.

The injunction request was filed by McGill University on Monday, asking St-Pierre to authorize the dismantling of the camp. 

McGill’s lawyers argued that the encampment was unsafe and posed a risk of escalating tensions on school grounds, which prevented the university from holding its convocation ceremonies at its regular outdoor location.  

St-Pierre dismissed the arguments however, ruling that no serious or violent incident had occurred at the encampment since its onset and even confrontation with counter-protesters have remained peaceful. 

Additionally, he said that McGill had already relocated its convocation ceremony from its longstanding location where the encampment is. 

Negotiations between university authorities and the protesters have been stagnant thus far, as the activists demand McGill divest from any companies with ties to Israel and cut ties with all Israeli academic institutions.

There are currently dozens of similar encampments on university campuses across North America protesting on behalf of Gaza.

According to CBC News, St-Pierre questioned Jacques Darche, one of the university’s lawyers, about its claim that there was an “urgent” need to remove the encampment on Monday during the injunction request. 

St-Pierre argued that the university’s claim that convocation plans were “urgent” paled in comparison to the rights of the protestors who so far had been demonstrating peacefully.

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