Police stop pro-Palestinian camp at Université Laval in Quebec


Quebec City police said they forced protesters to disperse a pro-Palestinian camp on the grounds of Université Laval.

Police said today that three people had received tickets and one person had been arrested and taken to the police station to prevent a repeat of the offense.

A police statement said that when they arrived at the school premises on Saturday evening, they found a protest with about 30 participants, including some who had set up camp.

They say officials explained that the camp violated a city ordinance that prohibits the erection of tents or other structures on public property without a permit.

A spokesman for a pro-Palestinian student group confirmed that the protesters had agreed to dismantle their tents to prevent police from forcibly clearing the camp.

Antoine Grenier of the Mouvement des étudiants de l'Université Laval pour la Palestine feels that the authorities are suppressing the right of students to participate peacefully in the movement on the university campus against the war between Israel and Hamas.

“We saw this as a way to deny our right to demonstrate on campus against a genocide taking place across the ocean, even though we were doing so in a completely peaceful manner,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

“They gave us 10 minutes to collect our belongings, otherwise the 40 police officers present there would enter the camp and attack us with violence. So we decided to dismantle our tents and continue to demonstrate on campus without tents for the rest of the day.”

Quebec City police said protesters were forced to dismantle their tents but the demonstration was allowed to continue. Grenier confirmed that protesters remained at the site until about 11 p.m.

In recent weeks, pro-Palestinian camps have been set up on several Canadian university campuses following a wave of similar protests in the United States.

Protesters at Université Laval are demanding that the university disclose all investments and partnerships linked to Israel. They are calling for a ceasefire and condemning the actions of the Israeli state against the Palestinian people. They are also pledging to divest from companies involved in what they call genocide.

Last week, pro-Palestinian protesters at the Université du Québec à Montréal agreed to disperse their camp in the next few days after the university passed a resolution that met many of their demands, including calling for a ceasefire and promising not to make direct investments in companies that profit from weapons production.

Another camp has existed at McGill University in Montreal since the end of April, with no sign of an agreement between the protesters and the university.

A similar situation exists at the University of Toronto, where a camp has been in place since the beginning of May and is scheduled to remain in place until the start of the graduation ceremonies on Monday.