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Pro-Palestinian protesters address media ahead of meeting with U of T administration

Pro-Palestinian protesters who have set up an encampment on the University of Toronto campus are expected to meet with school officials Sunday afternoon.

The meeting comes after the university issued a trespass notice to the protesters on Friday.

The school has said it will take “all necessary legal steps” the dismantle the encampment if the protesters don’t clear out by Monday at 8 a.m.

The notice threatens to seek a court order against the camp.

The encampment was initially set up by students on May 2.

It came as several other Canadian and American universities and colleges began protesting their school’s administration’s alleged ties to Israel.

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Organizers have been calling on the University of Toronto to divest from companies that provide aid to Israel and end any partnerships with the country’s academic institutions deemed complicit in the conflict.

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The school made an offer to the protestors on Thursday, which they say does not properly address their concerns or demands.

The university’s offer said it would form a working group to consider options for the disclosure of the school’s investments, but it would not end any partnerships with Israeli universities.

On divestment, the university said it would strike an advisory committee to review the students’ request under existing school policies.

The students addressed members of the media Sunday morning, reiterating their determination to have their demands met in a timely manner.

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They also condemned the university’s use of student tuition to fund military equipment used by Israel, a venture the school vehemently denies having any part in.

Mohammad Yassin, a student who has been heavily involved in the organization of the encampment and negotiations with the school, said the president of the university must act swiftly.

“We are not in a position where we can waste another three weeks, arguing over bureaucratic details, a process that will end in nothing,” Yassin said.

Erin Mackey, another student involved in the protests, said she hopes this afternoon’s meeting will finally allow for productive discussion.

“We ask you to pick a side, either justice, or genocide,” she said.

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The meeting with school administration is scheduled for 5 p.m.

— with files from the Canadian Press

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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