McGill University windows smashed in pro-Palestinian protest; 1 arrest

By The Canadian Press

One person was arrested during a pro-Palestinian protest at McGill University on Friday night after Montreal police and city workers dismantled a pro-Palestinian encampment at Victoria Square in the financial district earlier in the day.

Montreal police say protesters gathered around 8 p.m. at Place Jean-Riopelle and marched roughly one kilometre north toward McGill University’s downtown campus where a separate encampment has been in place since late April.

Campus protesters have been demanding the university cut ties with Israel as its war with Hamas continues to rage.

Police spokesperson Véronique Dubuc says a 66-year-old man was arrested for breaking windows at a McGill administration building and assaulting a campus security guard.

She says police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, and two officers suffered minor injuries during the police operation, which concluded at around 11 p.m.

Before the protest at McGill Friday night, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the encampment at Victoria Square differed from the one at the university because it was set up on public space.

Palestine camp Victoria Square
The pro-Palestinian encampment at Victoria Square on July 5 2024. (Alyssia Rubertucci, CityNews Image)

She said the decision to remove protesters was taken because demonstrators cannot “permanently occupy a public site no matter what the cause.”

McGill president Deep Saini called on the city to remove the encampment on the university’s lower field, but Plante blamed the university for attempting to use the courts to forcibly remove protesters instead of peacefully negotiating with them like the administration of Université du Québec à Montréal.

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