Friday, March 21, 2008


TORONTO:
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO STUDENTS OCCUPY PRESIDENT'S OFFICE:
It seems that the campuses are not so quiet as the mass media makes out these days. The following article is from the Linchpin/Common Cause website in Ontario, mentioned before on this blog.
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Press Release
University of Toronto Students Occupy President's Office
Police violence used to force students out
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2008 – Toronto
March 20, 2008 thirty-five University of Toronto students occupied Simcoe Hall, the home of the President's Office, to protest a 20% fee increase. The nonviolent sit-in was accompanied with a peaceful rally outside the building—until the police began brutalizing those inside. This was captured by multiple video cameras.

The students had three simple demands.
1) To be granted a meeting with President David Naylor;
2) To have the proposed fee increase removed from the University Affairs Board meeting, scheduled to take place on March 25; and
3) To be given 15 minutes at the University Affairs Board meeting for a presentation and discussion on broader issues of access to education and the impacts of high tuition upon students, families and communities.

Students attempted to deliver their letter to the University of Toronto President, David Naylor, and to speak to other members of the administration in Simcoe Hall about the rising costs of education in Ontario. The administration refused to meet with the students. The response of the University of Toronto was to violently remove students from their peaceful sit-in. Police aggressively grabbed students and dragged them away from the entrance of the office. The students feared for their safety and after four hours in the building, the police violence forced the students to leave.

Video of these events has been posted on YouTube and it can be viewed here:
Images can be viewed here:
http://www.edwardfwong.com/uoftact/10.jpg
Students are continuing to demand a meeting with President Naylor, and the right to accessible and affordable education.

For more information contact:Farshad Azadian, student member and organizer with AlwaysQuestion: 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.