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Camp UofT: school gave demonstrators amnesty

Camp UofT: school gave demonstrators amnesty
Camp UofT: school gave demonstrators amnesty

The University of Toronto has granted amnesty to pro-Palestinian protesters as part of an agreement that requires them to abide by a court order and clear the camp on campus.

A spokesperson for the camp confirmed to CP24 on Wednesday evening that organizers made the request before complying with an order to clear King’s College Circle last week.

“Ensuring the safety of all protesters has always been a top priority for Peoples Circle,” Sara Rasikh told CP24 in an email.

“The participants in the camp believe that the absolute minimum is that the university not pursue its students for peaceful protest. This agreement only states that on paper, and we expect them to adhere to it.”

Rasikh provided CP24 with a copy of the amnesty agreement, which was signed on July 3 by camp members and two UofT officials, including Student Vice Provost Sandy Welsh.

Under the agreement, the university will not take legal action or disciplinary action in relation to the camp or other pro-Palestinian protests on campus. UofT will also not file complaints about students, faculty, other staff or members of the camp with the Toronto police for participating in the demonstrations.

In exchange for the amnesty, the camp members must meet the 6 p.m. deadline and end the camp they have set up on the downtown campus by May 2.

The university said in a statement that it corresponded with members of the camp throughout the day of July 3, leading up to the deadline.

“This correspondence, initiated by student leaders, resulted in an agreement to ensure a peaceful, orderly and safe departure without police intervention, which is in line with the university’s goal from the beginning,” a UofT spokesperson said Wednesday evening.

Rasikh noted that a similar amnesty was included in every offer they made to the university, which she said the school had agreed to in principle even before the injunction was filed.

The pro-Palestinian camp at UofT ended last week after 62 days. While they may have packed up their tents, organizers said they would continue to pressure the university to disclose and divest from companies that profit from Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza.