Report by Mohammad Kazemi

For about a week, students at the University of Toronto have set up an encampment on the university lawn in support of the Palestinian people. The encampment, with about a hundred tents, is where students, full of high spirits, stay day and night. The encampment is separated from the rest of the university by a fence. When I entered the encampment, the camp’s regulations were first explained to me. After entering and talking to some of the camp organizers, it was agreed that I could have a short interview with one of the main organizers, Sarah.

In this interview, as Sarah pointed out, the students have two main demands: Disclose and Divest. In the Disclose demand, students want the University of Toronto to report to them how the tuition money they collect from students is spent, to ensure that the university does not use this money to support the Israeli government and suppress the people of Gaza. In the Divest demand, they ask the university to withdraw any investments in companies involved in the oppression of the Palestinian people.

Sarah also mentioned that on Saturday, May 11, a large march is scheduled to gather in front of the American Consulate at 1 or 2 PM. Outside the encampment, a Marxist group held a speech in which the speaker referred to the experience of the indigenous people’s struggle in Canada in past years for their rights, explaining that Toronto students are trying to involve other social forces in the community, including the labor union, in this struggle and exert maximum pressure on the Canadian government to meet their demands.

This encampment in support of the people of Gaza reminds us of the Occupy movement in America in 2011 and the people’s struggle in Egypt, especially the gathering of young people in Tahrir Square in Cairo that same year. These are all parts of a global movement against this plundering and exploitative system of capitalism in the contemporary world, a system that people, especially the youth, can no longer tolerate and are rising against in all corners of the world.

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Comments

12 responses to “Disclose and Divest: UofT Students Support Palestine”

  1. I hope this is a satirical account.

    1. I understand your humor. I invite you to read the content of my other posts before making a general judgment.

  2. Jeff

    Back in the 60s “STUDENTS mainly” went on delusional ban the bomb marches which proved to be fruitless thank God because had we actually banned the bomb we would all now be at the mercy of the Russian Sadist Putin.
    Similarly the “STUDENT” protests today regarding Palestine are equally dissolutional. Whilst no one with an ounce of compassion want to see the Palestinian people suffer the way they are make no mistake it is not Israel which is prolonging the misery it is Hamas, who if they handed over the hostages, and laid down their weapons the misery would end in a heartbeat, They and they alone are the cause of the suffering NOT Israel.
    I would suggest to these deluded students to look up the history and the present day living in Israel to get a true picture of the situation there. Until then screw your protest grow up and educate yourselves properly.

    1. I can agree with part of your argument that Hamas’s strategy is part of the current crisis, but if you don’t condemn the slaughter of the people of Gaza by the most modern military in the Middle East, there is a fundamental problem in understanding the situation. We can talk about the situation of Hamas and the criminal attack of October 7, but the slaughter of the people of Gaza is something else here.

      1. Jonathan Dore

        Even taking the Gaza “Ministry of Health” (i.e. Hamas) death tolls at face value (and of course they are inflated), the ratio of civilian to military deaths in the present conflict is around 2.1. Given that Hamas also claims many of their fighters as civilians, a more realistic estimate is somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 to 1. Most modern warfare results in ratios averaging around 9 to 1. In other words, even in the least generous interpretation the IDF has achieved an unprecedentedly low civilian death count, and it’s not hard to see why: they announce beforehand where they are going to strike and urge civilians to get out of the way. That they manage to achieve this unprecedentedly low ratio while fighting an enemy deliberately using their own civilians as human shields — by building tunnel networks, stockpiling munitions, and placing command posts in hospitals and schools — is little short of miraculous.

        1. I strongly disagree with such a narrative. Not because Hamas does not use human shields or because human lives are important to the Islamic movement. No, I know them well. But killing thousands of children, starving people, destroying food convoys… tells us other things as well. I don’t want to make a monster out of everyone here. But the right-wing trend in Israel is committing crimes. I draw your attention to the link below.
          https://www.972mag.com/

          1. Jonathan Dore

            I’m less concerned with a “narrative” than I am with actual facts. The facts are that if Israel had no concern for human life the war would have been over by the middle of October, with orders of magnitude more casualties than have actually occurred; that even the proportionally small number of civilians killed are the responsibility of Hamas, who could have chosen to evacuate them but chose instead to use their lives as pawns in a game that, apparently, students at the University of Toronto are easily fooled into playing; that food convoys have never been deliberately attacked by the IDF (and only one such vehicle by accident), whereas Hamas swarm arriving food trucks and commandeer the food (often attacking the trucks to do so — see https://www.reddit.com/r/2ndYomKippurWar/comments/1b379nr/egyptian_truck_driver_attacked_while_crossing_to/?rdt=62202&force_seo=1).

            The link you gave about the bulldozing of a village is indeed troubling, but is a separate issue from this war. The behaviour of Hamas, on the other hand, is not a separate issue, but the driving factor that created and sustains the war.

          2. Thank you for your comment. I’m just pointing out that there are facts going on that even the United States prefers not to send weapons to Israel.

  3. Canuck

    If you are a foreign student doing this you should be expelled and deported. If you are a Canadian student you should be expelled. Don’t come to Canada to fight battles back in your country of origin, if you wish to do that do it there. In other words be a Canadian, fit in or F*#k off

    1. I’m not agree with many politic of Canada, but this country prides itself on diversity and freedom. Forcing people to “fit in” or leave goes against those values. It’s not about fighting battles from another country; it’s about bringing diverse perspectives and standing up for justice everywhere. If we silence voices because they challenge us, we’re no better than the oppressive regimes many flee from.

  4. Gus

    Yor website needs an unsubscribe link

    1. Thank you for your suggestion. But when someone subscribe, each time that they receive an email from my blog, they have at least 2 option and link for unsubscription.

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