Will UofT’s encampment be allowed to stay up? An Ontario court is ruling soon—here’s what you should know

Counter protests May 8 at the UofT encampment took place over several hours, with pro-Israel counter protesters growing in numbers following a rally held a few blocks away by Jewish student and faculty groups calling to end the encampment. (Credit: Jonathan Rothman/The CJN)

An Ontario court judge is expected to rule as early as this week on whether the seven-week-old pro-Palestinian tent city at the University of Toronto will be allowed to remain, or whether it must be dismantled immediately—with police help, if necessary. Lawyers for the university were in court last week arguing the encampment is illegal and has done irreparable harm to UofT’s international reputation, while also violating the rights of Jewish and pro-Israel students and staff. Lawyers for the student protesters countered in court that their right to free speech and free assembly trumps any concerns the school may have.

The Toronto encampment is one of about a half-dozen still up on Canadian university campuses since a wave of pro-Palestinian tent cities began in the United States in April. McGill’s was the first in Canada—and it’s still operating after two failed appeals to courts. Waterloo just issued a trespass notice on Friday, while five other schools have cleared theirs, usually with police help: York University, UQAM, the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. Ontario Tech University in Oshawa was the first and only Canadian post-secondary institution to date to agree to the students’ demands, and saw the tents come down peacefully.

The CJN’s Jonathan Rothman has been covering the UofT encampment since it went up, writing numerous pieces for us and conducting interviews inside. He joins The CJN Daily to describe what the tent city is like and predict what might happen next.

What we talked about:

  • Read more about Jewish groups intervening in the UofT encampment injunction court case, in The CJN
  • Find out more about the criminal charges laid by Toronto police connected to the UofT encampment, in The CJN
  • Read the University of Toronto’s legal application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for a permanent injunction, and read all the legal briefs on the website of the law firm of Lenczner Slaght

Credits:

The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine.  We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.