Montreal police investigating 'revolutionary youth summer program' featuring posters of firearms

Montreal police Inspector David Shane told reporters on Monday that while the posters don't target any particular group, 'it's clearly in very poor taste and it's likely to make people feel unsafe.'

Montreal police investigating 'revolutionary youth summer program' featuring posters of firearms
The Canadian Press / Ryan Remiorz
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Montreal police have launched an investigation into the McGill encampment’s "revolutionary" youth summer camp, which includes lessons on "Islamic resistance" and features a poster of Palestinian militants with machine guns.

The investigation was announced during a Monday afternoon press conference by Montreal police Inspector David Shane. Shane expressed concern over the poster, which promotes workshops at the camp and depicts an assault rifle.

The encampment's youth summer program will give "revolutionary lessons" over four weeks. They will also provide lessons on Palestinian history, and the role of the media since the October 7 massacre on Israelis.

Federal and provincial politicians have called for the encampment to be dismantled after photos of the summer camp's posters circulated featuring armed Islamists wearing keffiyehs and holding rifles.

"Enough is enough, this is hate speech and incitement to hate, pure and simple!" said federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller. "De-escalation at McGill has clearly failed. This needs to end!"

Quebec Higher Education Minister Pascale Dery added that the poster was tantamount to "provocation, explicit incitement to violence, [and] even indoctrination."

Insp. Shane told reporters on Monday that while the posters don't target any particular group, "it's clearly in very poor taste and it's likely to make people feel unsafe."

Organizers of the program, which will also feature Arabic language classes and cultural crafts, defended the poster and reported high interest in the teachings.

"We're challenging the conventions of traditional academia. Our aim is to teach subjects that aren't typically covered," said encampment spokesperson Zaina Karim to CTV News on Monday.

McGill president Deep Saini said the university would increase security near the encampment and called the poster "extremely alarming."

"It has attracted international media attention, and many in our community have understandably reached out to express grave concerns — concerns that I share," he said.

Karim defended the poster by saying the image is "historical" and shows "a colonized people reading about another colonized people."

As of Monday morning, online registration for the summer program had closed. According to Karim, 50 to 80 people have signed up for the first week of lectures, mostly students.

The university has made offers to the protesters, the latest of which included a commitment to review its investments in weapons manufacturers and granting amnesty to protesting students. However, members of the encampment dismissed the offer as "laughable."

In May, two injunction requests were filed to dismantle the protest encampment — one by McGill students and another by the university itself.

Both requests were denied, as the applicants failed to prove that the situation at the encampment was sufficiently urgent. McGill has since moved to the next phase of the injunction process, seeking an interlocutory order to evict the protesters, but the case has not yet been heard.

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