McGill University | Legault asks the SPVM to dismantle the encampment

(Quebec) Prime Minister François Legault asks SPVM police officers to dismantle the pro-Palestinian encampment at McGill University, as pro-Israeli organizations prepare to demonstrate at the site on Thursday.




This encampment is “illegal” to the extent that it is installed on the grounds of the university campus without authorization, he argued Thursday, the day after the rejection of an injunction request by the Superior Court aimed at restricting the space that can occupy the demonstrators.

“The law must be respected. I expect the police to clear out these illegal camps. And that’s what McGill asked,” he said during a press briefing in Quebec City, at the end of question period in the National Assembly.

He responded in the affirmative when asked if this was a “request” that he was making to the SPVM.

“I will still let the police decide how and when they do that. But the camps must be dismantled,” he said.

McGill University already requested intervention from the SPVM earlier this week. Despite the Superior Court’s decision regarding a request for an injunction presented by two students, she said she was “encouraged” by the judge’s conclusion that the demonstrators were “illegally occupying the premises by camping there.” François Legault also highlighted this passage from the judgment during his press briefing.

“We are all worried about what is happening in Gaza. I can understand. People can express their position in a demonstration. It is permitted and legal. But they cannot have a camp on the site of a university,” argued the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, a face-to-face confrontation is brewing on the ground: new barricades have been installed around the pro-Palestinian encampment at McGill University, where pro-Israeli organizations have called on demonstrators to meet early in the afternoon THURSDAY.

PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

Wooden pallets, picnic tables: the camp has been considerably fortified in recent hours, noted The Press.

This is because in addition to an imminent dismantling, a pro-Israeli demonstration is expected at the beginning of the afternoon in front of the university. A counter-demonstration was quickly announced.

PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

Around 11 a.m., it was no longer possible to access the campus from Sherbrooke Street.

A strong police presence could be observed around the camp, where a fragile calm reigned. “Free Palestine!” “, chanted the demonstrators to the sound of drums.

Across the street, a giant screen installed by a pro-Israeli organization played a looping documentary on the October 7 Hamas attack.

“Join us tomorrow, May 2, to demand that McGill University enforce its policies and to oppose Jewish hatred on campus,” a social media post announced.

PHOTO PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

Earlier this week, McGill University requested the intervention of police forces to dismantle the encampment. She made a final appeal to leave the site on Wednesday.

“The encampment must be dismantled quickly, and this is not negotiable,” warned the president and vice-chancellor, Deep Saini, in an email to students.

He promised to set up a “forum” for discussion with the demonstrators if they left the encampment “immediately”.

Far from leaving, the demonstrators called on the public to come carrying rope, sleeping bags and wooden pallets.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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