Edmonton mayor says he was disturbed by Edmonton police's actions against anti-Israel protesters

'You don't want to see that kind of imagery... We will definitely reach out to the University of Alberta as well as the police commission.'

Edmonton mayor says he was disturbed by Edmonton police's actions against anti-Israel protesters
The Canadian Press / Jason Franson
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Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi gave his two cents on how the University of Alberta and police responded to an anti-Israel encampment early Saturday morning, saying he was "disturbed" by what he saw.

"You know, universities have always been a space where protest is allowed," Sohi began. "Where space is created for ideas to be debated and discussed, and there's so much pain going on in this world, particularly the images coming out of Gaza that are causing a lot of pain here in the community. People are rightfully frustrated and they want action, and they want to express how they feel about the situation."

"... I saw some of the images as well, how this protest was handled. People are asking for accountability from the University of Alberta as well as the Edmonton police commission, they have every right to do so."

When asked by the host of Edmonton AM if he was disturbed by what he saw, Sohi said "Yes, obviously."

"You don't want to see that kind of imagery... We will definitely reach out to the University of Alberta as well as the police commission."

According to the University of Alberta's president, less than 25 percent of those occupying the illegal camp were students at the institution.

Edmonton police helped the university in enforcing the Trespass to Property Act last week. The occupants of the 40-tent encampment were warned before police took action.

President of the university Bill Flanagan noted that "peaceful protests are welcome on our university campuses—but they must also proceed in accordance with the university’s policies. And they cannot violate the law or public safety regulations."

Protests continue across Canadian university campuses, with several new encampments popping up in the past couple of days alone. Protests have largely been allowed to continue in other provinces, with Edmonton and Calgary’s protests being the only ones that were quickly quashed.

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