man who claims to be former member of “israeli” military trespassing at #uoft
Dear University of Toronto and University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation:
This is in response to the recent assault on student activism and student spaces at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus:
On Thursday November 6, a 34 year-old man with no affiliation to the University of Toronto furiously entered the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union office after hours. He stole a poster that read WARNING: THIS UNIVERSITY PROFITS OFF ISRAELI APARTHEID AND OCCUPATION. All attempts to calm him down failed. After stealing the poster he drove off, recording the incident with his phone. Campus police filed a report and said to notify them if the man returns. After a couple of weeks we put up another sign. The man came back. He forced his way into the student union. We tried to calm him down and initiate dialogue. The man replied with, “I’ll rip your fucking throat out” and “I have twelve guys on standby ready”—implying that he or other people will be back. He shouted that he use to be a part of the “israeli” military and regularly killed “terrorists”. Campus police came to the scene and issued the man a Notice of Trespass for the UTSC campus.
In fury, we wondered how a man with no affiliation to the University of Toronto invaded student spaces, threatened students, stole private property, and walked away with just a Notice of Trespass. Why hasn’t the University been held accountable for investing in companies such as Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, both of which supply F-16 bomber jets and Hellfire missiles to “israel”? Why do our tuition dollars continue to fund “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine? The University—rather than addressing their complicity—responded with increased policing of student union spaces and activism. We are not looking for increased policing of activist activities, we want to cut ties with international law violations without facing death threats. If the University of Toronto did not invest in these companies we would not be threatened repeatedly on University grounds.
We demand that the University of Toronto, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation:
- Immediately divest from companies complicit in international law violations, including all companies profiting off “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land.
- Apologize and take accountability for the violence and death threats we’ve incurred as a result of raising awareness of UTAM’s investments.
- Ensure safer spaces for student organizers not through increased policing and surveillance but rather by validating our voices and addressing our concerns.
U of T Divest - Scarborough