Canadian school notifies pro-Palestinian protesters to pack, leave



TRENTON, CANADA – A showdown may be in the works as pro-Palestinian protesters vowed Friday to ignore a University of Toronto trespass notice to pack and leave by 8 a.m. Monday.

If the protesters remain past the deadline, university officials said the trespassers will face “consequences under university policies and the law,” according to a statement posted online by the school.

Those who remain could face up to a five-year suspension or expulsion from the university.

Dozens of faculty members and staff who have joined the pro-Palestinian encampment could face “disciplinary measures up to and including termination of employment,” said the school.

The university’s administration refused protesters’ demand to end partnerships with Israeli universities and cut ties with Israel and companies profiting from the onslaught in Gaza.

But it did offer students the chance to present their demands at a June 19 university board of governors meeting. As well, the administration said it would form a group to consider disclosure and investment terms.

The protesters were defiant in the face of the trespass notice.

“We’ll continue to be here, and we’ll continue to demand divestment,” said Erin Mackey, an encampment spokesperson, according to the National Post.

“That is an ultimatum,” encampment organizer and fourth-year student Kalliope Anvar McCall said at a news conference Friday, said CBC News. “They’re trying to force us to accept these outrageous terms by threatening to clear us out at the same time.”

But despite the trespass notice, a lone media outlet, the National Post, reported that an encampment organizer said the administration agreed to meet Sunday to continue negotiations.

The encampment at the university, the largest school in Canada with an enrollment of nearly 62,000 students, was set up May 2.

Encampments were also established at other major Canadian post-secondary schools, including the University of Ottawa, University of British Columbia and McGill University. (Anadolu)