Sunday, May 18, 2008

Molly has blogged on this matter before, about the case of 14 students arrested and charged at the University of Toronto after a peaceful sit-in over the issue of tuition fees. This coming Wednesday there will be further protests at the U. of T.

May 21: Rally to Oppose Fee Hikes and to Support The Fight Fees 14
What: Rally against fee hikes and repression of dissent at University of Toronto
When: Wednesday, May 21, 4:30 PM
Where: Simcoe Hall, University of Toronto, 27 King’s College Circle
Students and organizers will rally outside a meeting of the University of Toronto’s Board of Governors Wednesday, May 21, to protest UofT campaign of intimidation against those mobilizing against fee hikes. They will peacefully attempt to deliver letters and 1700 petition signatures in support of 14 students arrested and charged by the University in connection with their campaign for accessible education. The rally will feature speakers from the Committee for Just Education and its allies “charging” UofT administration with misconduct in its repressive response to peaceful dissent.

On March 20, over forty students and allies organized a sit-in at the University of Toronto administration’s offices in Simcoe Hall to protest increasing student fees. The peaceful sit-in ended after police exercised aggression against the demonstrators on the orders of senior administrators. Undeterred, students continued to organize against fee hikes with rallies on March 25 and April 10, and an open forum on the accessibility of education on April 7.

In response, the UofT administration worked with Toronto Police to charge and arrest 14 handpicked students and organizers for alleged involvement in the March 20 sit-in. The “Fight Fees 14” were released on strict bail conditions that prohibited association with one another and banned their access to University of Toronto property. In addition, at least 15 students have been threatened with investigation under UofT’s Code of Student Conduct, with sanctions that can include suspension or expulsion.

The Committee for Just Education, in solidarity with those charged, demands:

*Equal access to education through the elimination of all fees.
*That the UofT administration and Toronto Police immediately drop all proceedings against students and organizers and stop the policing of dissent on campus.
*Student, worker, and faculty parity on university decision-making bodies, including the Governing Council.
The first court date for the accused is tentatively scheduled for June 3 at Old City Hall. Details will be released as more information is made available. Keep checking for updates.

No comments: