Partial injunction issued against anti-Israel camp at UQAM by Quebec court

In a statement, UQAM expressed that it is relying on the cooperation of the protesters to comply with the court order.

Partial injunction issued against anti-Israel camp at UQAM by Quebec court
The Canadian Press / Ryan Remiorz
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A Quebec Superior Court judge granted a partial injunction request by the University du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM), prohibiting anti-Israel protesters from setting up encampments within two metres of campus buildings.

The decision, issued on Monday, will put in place security measures until June 6, that will reduce the area available for protesters to use, without harming their freedom of expression, Justice Louis Joseph Gouin decided.

UQAM filed for an injunction on Thursday after protesters set up an encampment on May 12.

The institution claimed that protesters were causing safety risks by blocking an emergency exit, and by being in possession of gas canisters and iron bars and could possibly overload the school's electrical network with unauthorized extension cords.

Christophe Reutenauer, a professor in UQAM's Department of Mathematics, attended the court hearing on Friday. He said that some of the judge's demands are reasonable, but he is concerned that requiring protesters to distance themselves from campus buildings could expose them to violence because people could throw stuff at protesters.

"Two metres could be dangerous for the campers because then everybody can come and throw [things] and attack them," he said to CBC. "These security matters are so [trivial] when you think about the cause they're defending... Gaza would like security also," he continued.

In a statement, UQAM expressed that it is relying on the cooperation of the protesters to comply with the court order.

"Moreover, UQAM will continue the dialogue with the students, some of which are at the encampment, in relation to their concerns about the situation in Palestine and Israel," said university rector Stéphane Pallage in the statement.

He said that the students' demands can be acknowledged and conversations can continue once the security matters are resolved.

The service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) said in a statement that it is aware of the decision and will keep on top of the situation as it continues.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has called the encampments "illegal" and has called for the protests at McGill University to be dismantled.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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