‘Here to stay until our demands are met’: UVic protesters shut down campus Starbucks

'Here to stay until our demands are met': UVic protesters shut down campus Starbucks

A bizarre and somewhat graphic protest took place at the University of Victoria (UVic), inside the campus bookstore’s Starbucks on Sunday.

There has been an ongoing pro-Palestinian encampment for over a month, and the protesters have now spread their demands outside of the encampment. The display and somewhat performative protest forced the coffee shop to shut down for the day.

This show of defiance comes on the heels of the first set of negotiations between UVic and the protesters. Despite the optimism from both sides of that conversation, protesters proceeded with Sunday’s events.

In the videos posted by the “People’s Park” UVic Instagram page around 11 a.m., protesters were seen lying down on the ground with white robes with blood-like stains. Protesters then started chanting and making speeches while customers, including families with children inside the Starbucks, cleared their way out.

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Anonymous protesters told CHEK News that they were asked to leave by campus security. The protesters then went outside and continued chanting their demands to the university to defund any finances directly tied to Israel.

“We are here to stay until our demands are met. There’s no business as usual on campus until our demands are met. There is a genocide happening [and] UVic is directly funding that genocide,” said the protesters. The protesters do plan to not go anywhere until their demands are met.

CHEK News reached out to the university, but they responded that the protest was specific to Starbucks, so they are unwilling to comment. This counteracts what the protesters told CHEK News, as the protest event at Starbucks also targeted UVic.

The pro-Palestine encampment has been at UVic since May 1.

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