BREAKING: Queen’s University encampment ends after 12 days

University addresses protestors six demands and creates divestment committee

Image by: Allie Moustakis
The encampment ended on May 22.

Standing outside the Queen’s senior administrative building clad in keffiyehs and surrounded by Palestinian flags, 30 pro-Palestine protestors convened to announce the end of their encampment.

READ MORE: Pro-Palestine protestors set up encampment on Queen’s University campus

After meeting with the Provost and Vice-Provost throughout the encampment’s 12-day duration, protestors said they’ve pushed Queen’s to create a divestment committee to review the University’s connection to corporations and companies “profiting from Israeli apartheid” and “genocide of the Palestinian people,”  Yara Hussein, ArtSci ’24, said during a press conference held by the protestors outside the encampment on May 22.

The University addressed and discussed all six of the protestors demands posted to Queen’s University Apartheid Divestment’s (QUAD) Instagram account earlier this month, Hussein said. This does not mean senior administrators have satisfied protestors demands, Hussein clarified.

While protestors will move to decamp this evening, they will continue to push the University to meet their six demands. “We don’t see these as victories, but rather opportunities to hold senior administration accountable,” Hussein said.

The University will announce the divestment committee chair by the end of the week and protestors have requested two seats on the committee, Hussein said. Members of the committee and its timeline remain unclear.

Brian O’Neill, director of investments at Queen’s, will provide protestors with more information about the University’s investments, Hussein added.

In addition to divestment and cutting ties with corporations and companies, protestors demanded the University “boycott” Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In response, the University said they’ve never severed ties with an academic institution before, a stance protestors deemed inadequate, Hussein explained.

Another issue protestors intend to take up with the University is the policing of Palestinian and Palestinian allied-students, Hussein explained.

Addressing their sixth demand, Stephanie Simpson, vice-principal (cultural, equality, and inclusion), will look into adopting theArab Canadian Lawyers Association’s definition of anti-Palestinian racism at Queen’s.

Students involved in the encampment and the confrontation following  the Board of Trustees meeting on May 10, which Hussein categorized as violence on the part of campus security, will not face consequences by the University.

Protestors will continue to amplify their demands to the University and “escalate,” Jake Morrow, PSAC 901 president, said to the media on May 22. Morrow said people will have to “wait and see” what escalation entails.


Divestment, Encampment, Palestine, Protest

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