University of Toronto seeks injunction to clear out anti-Israel encampment

As anti-Israel protesters at the University of Toronto continue their encampment past the departure deadline given by the school, the university is seeking a court order to remove them.

The protesters stayed past the Monday morning deadline that they were given to strike a deal with the university administration and clear out.

When the encampment was first established on May 2, protesters were given a one-day trespass notice, though more than three weeks later, they are still very much embedded.

University of Toronto president Meric Gertler announced that the school has filed for an expedited case with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for an injunction order.

In response, Ontario union leaders rallied at the encampment Monday morning and said they are seeking intervener status in the case to delay and stop the injunction.

Among the union leaders was CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.

Hahn justified Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack on Israel a day after the massacre. He is also currently embroiled in legal troubles from Jewish CUPE members who filed a human rights complaint against the union.

One protester said at the rally, live-streamed by the protesters on Instagram, that the injunction hearing was delayed due to the union’s support.

Despite filing for an injunction, Gertler noted that the school intends to continue to engage in discussions with students.

University administration and student representatives of the protest met yesterday in what Gurtler said was a “long and productive meeting.”

He stated that there was another meeting scheduled for today.

“We remain hopeful that we can reach an agreement and bring the unauthorized encampment to an end,” he said.

The protesters posted a call for an emergency rally in case police were called on their social media page.

The university offered the protesters a deal on Friday. The school would establish committees to oversee recommendations for disclosure and divestment from Israel and invest in Palestinian studies at the school.

In return, protesters were to disband and refrain from re-establishing another encampment for a year until the university had time to fulfil its commitments. The deal was also conditional on the protesters refraining from disrupting the convocation ceremonies.

The encampment protesters refused the offer because their demands were not being met.

They demanded the school disclose all investments that help Israel, divest from those assets that benefit from Israel and cut ties with Israeli academic institutions.

The school has said it will not give in to all of the protesters’ demands as doing so would be “at odds” with its commitment to academic freedom.

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