McGill withdraws amnesty offer, ends negotiations with anti-Israel campus protesters

'As it has become clear that no fruitful outcome will result from these talks, we are ceasing discussions,' McGill University president Deep Saini wrote in a statement.

McGill withdraws amnesty offer, ends negotiations with anti-Israel campus protesters
The Canadian Press / Christinne Muschi
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McGill University will be ending its negotiations with anti-Israel protesters who have occupied the lower field of its downtown campus. The university will also move forward with disciplinary action against protesters participating in the encampment.

“Despite our ongoing efforts to discuss in good faith, the representatives of the encampment have maintained that their demands are non-negotiable while accusing the university of unwillingness to engage in fair discussions,” McGill president Deep Saini wrote in a statement.

“As it has become clear that no fruitful outcome will result from these talks, we are ceasing discussions.”

Encampment organizers rejected McGill's latest offer last week.

McGill's offer included amnesty for protesters, as well as a proposed exploration of divesting from weapons manufacturers.

The protesters say they won't leave until the university ends its investments connected with Israel's military.

Saini stated the university will proceed with its proposal despite the unsuccessful negotiations. However, McGill's offer of amnesty to students and staff participating in the encampment is no longer available.

“As our proposal was rejected, the university will pursue disciplinary processes against individuals participating in the encampment to the full extent outlined in our policies,” he wrote, reports The Canadian Press.

The protest has led to a police investigation, an intimidating environment, and a "series of completely unacceptable incidents" according to the institution. The school pointed to the occupation of the university's main administration building by pro-Palestinian protesters earlier in the month, leading to 15 arrests.

“Despite efforts to reach out and hold discussions with the encampment, these behaviours have only escalated, and have continued to result in substantial costs and disruptions, including the relocation of convocation away from lower field,” Saini said.

McGill has also sought assistance from the police. However, on Monday, Montreal police stated the encampment is a civil dispute and they currently lack legal grounds to intervene.

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