Should anti-Israel encampment students be punished? Montrealers react

Should students involved with anti-Israel encampments be punished by their schools? Should visas be revoked for foreign students supporting Hamas? Montrealers share their thoughts as encampment occupations continue.

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A month after the emergence of the first anti-Israel encampment in Canada, only the camps at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta have been dismantled by law enforcement. In total, 13 encampments remain in different cities across the country.

In the United States, multiple universities in several states faced the same issue as Harvard University, which decided to proceed and sanction students involved with the encampments by either suspension, withdrawal from semesters, prevention from graduation ceremonies, and so on.

In Canada so far, some universities have filed injunction orders to dismantle the encampments, but no real consequences have been given to the students involved.

"Those are private lands so they should not be there," said a Montreal resident when asked if the university should take further action to sanction the students. "If you're using that for your own selfish gains, yeah. I believe they should ban it. Like, you should lose your semester and retry. But if you're actually just doing everything, like a good student and a good human citizen, then it has to be viewed case by case," mentioned another interviewee.

"It's private property. So technically speaking, occupying these grounds, in addition to setting up a camp, adding reinforcements, is illegal. So, there should be sanctions," said a Montrealer regarding the multiple encampments occupying private land.

When asked about students here on a visa, and who might take part in those encampments and who are supporting terrorist organizations, Montrealers said they would rather see the punishments placed on non-citizens instead of revoking their visas.

“You come from outside of Canada to pay for your school, your instruction and then you realize your university is involved in like a funding of genocide, which is not something that you want to represent as a student. You have the right to oppose the interests of the institution,” mentioned a woman in the street.

For the moment, two injunctions have been filed in Montreal by McGill University and UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal). Rebel News is monitoring the situation closely and will follow any developments that occur.

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