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Police clear intersection of pro-Palestinian protesters on the University of BC campus

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VANCOUVER – Police have cleared pro-Palestinian protesters from a main intersection on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

The intersection of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall was clear at 12:15 p.m., but several unoccupied Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) vehicles were parked nearby.

A video posted shortly after 11 a.m. by an account linked to the protests showed dozens of uniformed officers walking along the main route.

The Instagram account “People's University for Gaza at UBC” had previously posted an update calling on people to gather at the intersection for a rally.

The person who answered the call to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) non-emergency line around noon referred media questions directly to the university.

Vancouver Police Lt. Col. Tania Visintin says the department was asked to go on “standby” and a video posted by the protest group showed Vancouver Police vehicles near the intersection, but Visintin says they did not deploy any officers.

Pro-Palestinian protesters have occupied a sports field on campus since April 29. It is the first of three similar camps that have sprung up in the province.

Protesters at UBC, as well as the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University, called on the universities to end their financial and academic ties to Israeli companies and institutions that they say are complicit in the “genocide” of the Palestinians.

A UBC spokeswoman said earlier this week that there was no update to President Benoit-Antoine Bacon's May 16 statement calling for “productive dialogue with members of the camp to work toward a peaceful solution.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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