Pro-Palestine encampment at Oshawa university coming down after “responsible” investment deal


Published May 21, 2024 at 9:40 am

Oshawa encampment

The tents are being taken down at the pro-Palestine encampment at Ontario Tech University after encampment organizers and the school reached an agreement on “responsible” investment practices.

The deal was reached Saturday, 15 days after the encampment was first established at the school’s Polonsky Commons.

The protesters were calling for Ontario Tech to divulge its investments and divest from any investments benefiting from the war going on in Palestine.

The university declared in the agreement it is “affirming” it is engaged in “responsible” investment practices. “It is not aware of investments in any companies that are benefitting from the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Ontario Tech is believed to be the first school in Canada to agree to divest from any investments related to the war, a decision encampment organizers were quick to praise on social media. “We as the Pro-Palestinian Student-Led Encampment are pleased to announce that we are the first university in Canada to reach an amicable agreement to both disclose and divest.”

Ontario Tech also agreed to provide “enhanced” support for any Palestinians displaced by the war with a trio of scholarship opportunities and to establish an advisory group to review how the school approves its investments.

The UOIT Faculty Association, representing teachers at the university, were also happy with the peaceful conclusion to the encampment. “We congratulate student encampment organizers for successfully negotiating an agreement with Ontario Tech administration. We call on other faculty associations in Canada to stand in solidarity.”

The association expressed “grave concerns” in a statement last week about the threat to remove the protesters by force. “Using police or private security to clear the encampment risks the use of violence against students and could jeopardize the safety of the university community,” it said, while defending the rights to “free expression and assembly and academic freedom” for the protesters and to all students.

To read the final agreement in its entirety, visit encampment.

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