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Protesters announce plan to leave University of Guelph encampment


Pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Guelph say they’ll end their encampment on July 15.

The announcement was made the same day the school officially issued a trespass notice. Staff delivered a letter to participants over the weekend, asking them to move off campus by Sunday, July 7. They also warned that if they failed to leave the school would pursue legal action.

On Monday, protesters issued their own media release in which they stated that it was “unrealistic to dismantle in a safe manner in this time frame” and refused to “comply with the unrealistic expectation to abide by the arbitrary deadlines set by administration with the threat of legal action.”

The University of Guelph officially delivered a Notice of Trespass that same day.

“If the encampment does not disband and vacate Branion Plaza immediately, the university will seek an injunction order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice,” their statement said.

Protesters insisted their plan had always been to donate materials and resources to the unhoused population once they decided to end the encampment – on their own terms.

“This process of packing and transferring these materials in an organized way to avoid damage and waste would take more than single day’s notice to arrange,” explained Celia Garcia.

Pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Guelph on July 8, 2024. (Stefanie Davis/CTV News)

Hours later the group announced their decision to leave Branion Plaza on social media.

“We will be leaving on our own timeline, in the wake of university administration’s blatant threats of police violence towards their own students and workers for participating in this encampment,” they alleged in the Instagram post. “This timeline will allow us to leave safely, with respect for the land where we are gathered, and without damaging or wasting the encampment materials.”

In response to protesters' plan, the University of Guelph put out the following statement: "The university has decided to pause on pursuing litigation and an injunction provided the encampment has disbanded and vacated by 9 a.m. on Monday, July 15, without incident."

They went on to say: "We are extending this deadline as a gesture of good faith that the encampment will disband, not return, and all activities this week and beyond will be lawful and in accordance with university policies. If these conditions are not met or disruptions to university operations continue, the university will proceed with legal action." Top Stories

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