Pro-Palestinian encampments remain at UVic, VIU for 2nd day

Pro-Palestinian encampments remain at UVic, VIU for 2nd day
The pro-Palestine encampment at UVic is pictured on May 2, 2024.

The Palestine Solidarity Encampment grew overnight in the middle of campus at the University of Victoria. The group even shored up a make-shift fence on Thursday, after the camp was established on Wednesday.

CHEK News wanted an update on the encampment from the spokesperson, but first we had to make it past the checkpoint.

It took a few minutes and a confrontation with protesters before a student protester agreed to an interview.

“We are prepared. We are skilled up. We are ready to risk it all,” she said. “Because the consequences that we face here as students in North America on this college campus, you know, we are surrounded with buildings that are not bombed. We are not worried about that.”

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Student protesters speak with CHEK’s Mary Griffin at UVic on May 2, 2024.

In a statement Thursday, the University of Victoria said erecting tents, temporary structures, and overnight encampments are prohibited by university policy.

Protest camps are now set up at seven Canadian university campuses.

One of the first popping up on MacInnes Field at the University of British Columbia. The latest, at the University of Toronto, saw protesters move onto a fenced-off greenspace overnight.

READ PREVIOUS: Protesters set up pro-Palestine camps at UVic, VIU

Back at UVic, emotions are close to the surface around the war in Gaza.

One man is angry at the entire situation.

“Last night I’m hearing from you media all the violence in UCLA. But you don’t tell during the night, the police allow the gang support to attack people, to injure them. Then they use that excuse of violence,” he said.

But most have thoughtful responses when asked about the encampments, including Damien Contandriopoulos, a UVic professor with the School of Nursing.

“I support the encampment, and before going further I wanted to have a look just to be reasonably confident that what we are experiencing is within the normal acceptable level of protest. And I am really happy to see that it is,” he said.

Adam Kaston is hoping to enroll in classes at UVic in September.

He does not support the encampment.

“Personally, I’m against it. I do not think it’s an appropriate use of public space, and I think that they are not informed on the issue,” Kaston said.

UVic says its next steps are still being determined, and they will provide updates as the situation and encampment keeps developing.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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