Campus LifeNews

Protestors rally for Palestine and against Canada Day

On June 30 approximately 200 protestors gathered at the University of Alberta Main Quad to demand that universities disclose, divest, and declare.

On June 30, at 1:30 p.m., approximately 200 protestors gathered at the University of Alberta Main Quad. The protest, titled “No Pride in Genocide,” was led by students and health workers, and was open to all community members.

David Kahane, a U of A professor in the department of political science and security liaison at the protest, said the protest aimed to continue to pressure the U of A and other universities in Edmonton to disclose, divest, and declare.

On May 11, a Palestine solidarity encampment on Main Quad was taken down by the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) at the university’s request. The encampment demanded that the U of A and MacEwan University disclose financial investments with Israeli institutions, divest from those investments, and declare that Palestinian people in Gaza are facing a genocide as a result of the Israel-Hamas war.

On June 14, the U of A Board of Governors (BoG) unanimously passed a motion to disclose a complete list of the university’s Endowment Pool Investment Holdings. BoG also committed to reviewing its investment policies and practices with the help of a third-party organization.

Kahane said the protest also meant to bring attention to Canada Day.

“It’s also to mark the fact that Canada Day is a deeply problematic celebration for people who are aware of colonization on this land and Canada’s complicity in the colonization of other lands.”

Rally focuses “on solidarity between Indigenous communities in Turtle Island and Palestine”

Before the protestors began their march around North Campus, speakers introduced the event.

Dalal Awwad, a U of A faculty member in the faculty of medicine and dentistry and member of Health Workers Alliance for Palestine spoke first.

“We’re also here on the weekend of July 1, because we recognize the sheer struggles of Indigenous people worldwide,” Awwad said. “We cannot call for an end to the occupation in Palestine without taking a clear stance against [Canada Day].”

Awwad spoke of the encampment removal from Main Quad on May 11. She said that despite concerns from students and faculty, President and Vice-chancellor Bill Flanagan was reappointed for a second term.

“Today we’re back to the People’s University of Palestine encampment site to remind EPS, the U of A, and MacEwan that we will not be silent. And we will not forget the role the police play in brutalizing our students and Indigenous communities.”

Lastly, U of A student Noor spoke. Noor, an organizer of the encampment, described EPS’ removal of the encampment and the rally’s focus.

“Our rally in action today is focused on solidarity between Indigenous communities in Turtle Island and Palestine,” Noor said. “We Palestinians and allies of Palestinians say that there is no pride in genocide and we refuse to celebrate July 1.”

After the rally, an Indigenous crafts market and activities such as poster-making, patch-making, and teach-ins took place.

Lily Polenchuk

Lily Polenchuk is the 2024-25 Editor-in-Chief of The Gateway. She previously served as the 2023-24 Managing Editor, 2023-24 and 2022-23 News Editor, and 2022-23 Staff Reporter. She is in her second year, studying English and political science.

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