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University of Toronto protesters say university giving them ‘the runaround,’ not addressing demands

Organizers of a pro-Palestinian protest encampment at the University of Toronto say the university is ignoring their demands and instead focusing on the logistics of the demonstration.

Erin Mackey, one of the spokespeople for the protesters, says university administrators are giving them “the runaround” by discussing sanitation and other issues related to the encampment but are “not addressing the core issue.”

Demonstrators have been calling on the university to disclose ties with the Israeli government and divest from Israeli companies.

The encampment, located in an area known as King’s College Circle, was set up Thursday.

In a statement issued this morning, the university says it is continuing to correspond with student representatives for the encampment and is currently focused on its “responsibility for the health, safety, and security of our students.”

The administration says it looks forward to resolving those issues so it can “move to the substantive discussions that both participants in the encampment and the university want to have.”

The encampment is one of several set up on university campuses in recent weeks.

Pro-Palestinian activists have also set up tents at McGill University in Montreal, the University of Ottawa, McMaster University in Hamilton and the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2024

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