An anti-Israel blockade at McGill University’s Bronfman Building led in-person classes to be cancelled for a day

Bronfman Building blockaded at McGill University in Monreal on Feb. 22, 2024. (@pascaledery)

An ongoing blockade at McGill University’s Bronfman Building in downtown Montreal led classes on the premises to be cancelled on Thursday—but some of the scheduled ones were taught online instead.

Protesters blocked both entrances to the building while holding up signs that accused the university administration of supporting genocide, which also involved drawing photos of staff members, while calling on the Desautels Faculty of Management to divest from interests in Israel such as its exchange programs with Hebrew University.

Jewish organizations decried the event as antisemitic. In one video that circulated online, demonstrators can be heard chanting for intifada.

The Bronfman Building was purchased its namesake Jewish family in 1971 and donated to McGill University, where it serves as the headquarters of the business school named for philanthropist Marcel Desautels, who died in 2023.

“Targeting institutions because of their perceived connection to the Jewish community must stop,” Eta Yudin, Vice President of CIJA told The CJN.

“It’s not up to the Jewish community to solve antisemitism, we need a whole of society approach to stop hate in its tracks. Universities must be part of the solution, show moral courage, and take action to prevent outside agitators from stirring up hate on campus.”

Liberal MPs Anthony Housefather and Marc Miller also denounced the blockade.

Quebec education minister Pascale Déry expressed similar sentiments on social media.

“I strongly denounce the blocking of the Bronfman Building at McGill University today, which deliberately targeted the Jewish character it represents. This kind of mobilization is an explicit form of hate-mongering and intimidation against the Jewish community.”

McGill announced classes would resume as usual on Friday morning.