Vancouver Island University limits access to library due to anti-Israel protests

The only 24-hour library on Vancouver Island, the VIU university library stands just steps away from the anti-Israel protest encampment established at the VIU quad early Tuesday morning.

Vancouver Island University limits access to library due to anti-Israel protests
Instagram / pse_viu
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Vancouver Island University announced it will be closing the doors to its Nanaimo campus library from midnight to 9 a.m. due to anti-Israel protests.

The only 24-hour library on Vancouver Island, VIU university library stands just steps away from the anti-Israel protest encampment established at the VIU quad early Tuesday morning, reports the Times Colonist.

In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon, the university affirmed its ongoing support for peaceful demonstrations and the right to freedom of expression. The statement did not specify the reasoning behind the increased restrictions.

Since Thursday, enhanced security measures have been implemented at VIU. All campus buildings now require keycard access by default, and security personnel have been stationed near the encampment. The university cited both its policies and B.C. law in deeming such behaviour prohibited.

According to VIU, erecting tents, temporary structures, and overnight encampments on campus premises is not allowed. Additionally, protests must not disrupt university operations or impede students and staff.

A protester at the encampment alleged on Friday that VIU is limiting access to restroom facilities in an apparent effort to provoke a health and safety crisis.

The Nanaimo campus library, which sees over 500,000 visits annually, plays a significant role in the university's academic environment.

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