New campus protests pop up in Halifax, Waterloo, and Sherbrooke

About a dozen tents were set up outside Dalhousie in Halifax on Monday morning, while about the same number were set up at Sherbrooke University in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

New campus protests pop up in Halifax, Waterloo, and Sherbrooke
The Canadian Press / Darren Calabrese
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Several new anti-Israel encampments have been set up at universities across Canada over the past two days, including Dalhousie, Waterloo, and Sherbrooke University.

The new tent encampments come as McGill University in Montreal awaits a decision from a judge on whether an injunction will be delivered.

About a dozen tents were set up outside Dalhousie in Halifax on Monday morning, while roughly the same number were set up at Sherbrooke University in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

"The encampment finally begins in Sherbrooke," said organizers in a post to social media. "Join the movement to denounce genocide in Palestine, support other student encampments and call on the university to publicly condemn genocide, publicly denounce Canada's complicity, call on Canada to stop arms sales, fully disclose investments and more."

Schools have responded, largely, by saying that they hope protests remain peaceful.

"We know that many members of our community share similar frustrations and concerns to those being expressed at university encampments across the country, and around the world," a statement from Dalhousie president Kim Brooks and vice-provost of student affairs Rick Ezekiel said, calling for "respectful, non-violent dialogue and debate."

At Waterloo, an email from the university said that "all members of our community are free to express their views, but we must aim to maintain a supportive, respectful and tolerant environment for everyone."

"Regarding the demands this group is making, the university has committed to considering the issues raised regarding investments at both the finance and investment committee and the pension investment committee of the board of governors," the statement said.

Sherbrooke University issued a statement with a similar sentiment, writing: "UdeS respects and values the freedom of expression and academic freedom of the members of its university community, as long as these actions take place in a safe environment, respect the rules and do not impede teaching, research or partner activities."

Protests across Canadian universities have either been torn down—as was seen at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary—or have become calcified thanks to inaction by authorities. Despite several calls from the premier, the protest at McGill remains, with a Quebec Superior Court judge expected to make a decision on Tuesday on whether to serve an injunction to take down the tent city.

McGill said that it wants to allow protests, but that this one "differs significantly from the typical protest experienced at McGill," calling it a "fortified and entrenched space," reports the CBC.

Protests have metastasized in Montreal, with a new encampment being set up at the University of Quebec a Montreal downtown.

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