Canada

Pro-Palestinian encampment at UBC ends voluntarily: protesters

A pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus (UBC) has ended after over two months.

Protesters “decamped” from a sports field near the bus loop Sunday, the university said in a Monday statement.

“UBC remains committed to respectful dialogue with student protesters,” the university added. 

A person connected to the People’s University for Gaza at UBC confirmed to CBC News that the encampment move was voluntary. 

WATCH | Pro-Palestinian encampment set up at UBC: 

Pro-Palestinian encampment set up at UBC’s Point Grey campus

After several encampments protesting the Israel-Hamas war sprung up at universities across the United States, a similar one has been set up on a sports field at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus in Vancouver. As CBC’s Michelle Ghoussoub reports, students are calling for an end to the war and “Freedom for Palestine.”

Dozens of tents had been removed by Monday, although barricades and fencing around the site remain in place. Guards were patrolling the area to prevent unauthorized people from entering the field while they waited for cleanup crews to arrive.

Protesters launched the camp at UBC in late April to protest the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, hanging up signs calling for “Freedom for Palestine” and urging Canada to “stop arming the genocide,” referencing the sale of arms to Israel.

The action was part of a wave of pro-Palestinian protests at university campuses across the country and the world that started in the spring, with protesters demanding universities end financial ties with Israeli institutions and companies.

Israel launched its attack after Hamas led a surprise assault on southern Israel on Oct. 7, which left roughly 1,200 dead and saw around 250 people taken hostage. Israel’s offensive has left at least 38,000 dead in Gaza, according to Palestinian tallies.

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Several pro-Palestinian encampments in Canada have ended in recent days, some voluntarily and some forcibly. For instance, protesters cleared the camp at the University of Toronto last week ahead of a court-ordered deadline to leave. 

In B.C., camps at Vancouver Island University and the University of Victoria are still continuing.

University of Victoria spokeswoman Erin Bell said “the People’s Park UVic encampment remains present on campus,” while a spokesperson for Vancouver Island University said it had no update on the protest camp there.

a message reading "we will not stop" on a grass field
Pro-Palestine protesters left behind flags and a message reading ‘We will not stop’ on the location of the encampment at University of British Columbia in Vancouver on Monday. (Ethan Cairns/CBC)

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