Police in riot gear order pro-Palestinian protesters to leave University of Calgary

Police in riot gear order pro-Palestinian protesters to leave University of Calgary

Police in Calgary say multiple people were arrested during a pro-Palestinian protest at the University of Calgary Thursday night.

Video posted on social media showed officers tearing down makeshift fencing and tents prior to protesters leaving peacefully.

In a statement, Calgary police say they were notified around 6:30 p.m. about an encampment protest on the campus, which grew to 150 protesters at its peak.

After a few hours, police say they had encouraged about 60 protesters to leave.

Around 11:15 p.m. police say the remaining protesters were removed by arrest, with the number of people arrested and facing charges expected to be released tomorrow.

Throughout the situation, police say projectiles were thrown their way, which at one point, led to officers using non-lethal munitions.

No injuries have been reported at this time.

The encampment began around 6:30 Thursday morning, with tents being set up. The number of demonstrators grew throughout the day.

The protesters, led by a group called the Calgary Student Movement, said they were objecting to the university’s ties with Israeli companies and institutions.

It was one of several protests on academic campuses in Canada and the United States in response to Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

A statement by the university also advised demonstrators that it respects free speech but that the campus has the right to reasonably regulate when and how it takes place.

The university noted that erecting temporary structures requires prior approval from the university and that such protests cannot remain overnight.

“Members of the campus community are free to protest but they are not free to camp,” the university said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 9, 2024.

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