Sunday, March 23, 2008

The following report is taken from the platformist Linchpin/Common Cause site. Seems there is to be a rally this upcoming Tuesday protesting the actions of the University Administration over the events of March 20 (see earlier her on Molly's Blog).

Tuesday March 25, 4:10 PM
Simcoe Hall (27 King's College Circle)University of Toronto
ACTION ITEM: Statements of solidarity and support; endorse and organize a contingent for the rally.
Join us in a peaceful demonstration outside the University of Toronto's administration building to protest police aggression against students and rising fees: Tuesday March 25, 4:10 PM, outside Simcoe Hall (27 King's College Circle).

Over the course of this year and in past years, the overwhelming majority of students have repeatedly demonstrated their opposition to increasing fees.In 2005, 98% of students at UofT voted against fee increases. Thousands of students rallied on February 7, 2007 against fee increases. Students' unions across Canada have advocated against fee increases. Despite all of this, and the efforts of student representatives at UofT, the administration continues with fee increases, making education inaccessible.
On Thursday March 20, 2008, over forty students staged a sit-in at Simcoe Hall, which houses the offices of the President and Provost. The students' main demand was to speak with President David Naylor in person or by telephone. Students also requested that proposed fee increases be removed from the March 25 University Affairs Board meeting and to be given 15 minutes at the meeting for a presentation and discussion on broader issues of access to education.
The peaceful sit-in of the students was met by physical aggression by campus police on the orders of senior administrators. Students were not allowed to demonstrate their dissent, and were not to be heard at all. Administrators left before the end of their workday, escorted out of the building, literally walking on top of students begging to be heard. This was captured on video:
The next step is to mobilize outside the University Affairs Board (Simcoe Hall) meeting on March 25 at 4:10 pm, in hopes of meeting these demands:

1. That the motion to increase students' fees be stricken from the agenda.
2. That representatives from Always Question be allotted 15 minutes to speak at the UAB meeting.
3. That representatives from Always Question, UTSU and ASSU have a meeting with President David Naylor to discuss students' rights and the role of police on campus.

At the rally we will bring attention to the fact that students can no longer advocate for accessible education without facing aggression from police, and most importantly, the administration.
Please attend to make the University of Toronto a safe space for student dissent.We are asking for statements of support and solidarity to be sent to, and that you contact President David Naylor( to condemn rising student fees and the heavy-handed actions of the police against students.

For further information:
Farshad Azadian, student member and organizer with Always Question: (416) 569-7471;
Ryan Hayes, President of Arts and Science Students Union: (416) 421-0879;
Michal Hay, Vice President University Affairs,University of Toronto Students' Union: (647) 802-4131

1 comment:

Farhad said...

The accused are Farrah Miranda and Liisa Schofield, campus organizers for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group; Michal Hay, former VP university affairs at UTSU; Hayes, who is president of ASSU; Edward Wong, an ASSU executive; APUS staffers Oriel Varga and Chris Ramsaroop; recent U of T graduate Noaman Ali; Farshad Azadian and Semra Eylul Sevi, members of the activist group Always Question; and students Luis Granados, Golta Shahidi, and Gabi Rodriguez. The accused also include one minor who cannot be named, and who has been additionally charged with uttering a death threat. The minor is undergoing a separate legal process at youth court.