University of Toronto Graduate Students' Union defends executive members'
constitutional rights, demands release of detained students

TORONTO, June 28 /CNW/ - The Graduate Students' Union Executive is shocked and appalled at the actions of the Integrated Security Unit this weekend when they raided our building and arrested two of our valued executive members and billeted demonstrators. It is legal to provide accommodations to those who exercise their democratic right to participate in a legal protest.

The student movement has a long and honorable tradition of supporting legitimate constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms, including the right to free assembly, free speech and peaceful protest. The GSU appeals to all members of the Canadian public to help us protect those rights.

As a matter of course, the GSU has billeted individuals in the past for many events, as have other student unions and universities. The University of Toronto was aware of our plans to remain open.

In preparation for the G20 summit, our university collaborated with police and closed the campus, canceled academic events, obstructed access to basic services, and transferred students out of their dormitories. All three student unions and other campus and labor organizations at U of T condemned the administration's decision to close, as should the public.

We believe that a key value of a university education is the right and obligation to criticize the accepted order. Academic freedom was trampled this weekend when two members of our executive were summarily arrested while carrying out their duties protecting our public right to dissent. The GSU categorically denies any involvement in any undemocratic activity and we call on university officials, the public and the media to support our collective freedoms and to release our innocent executive members with appropriate apologies.

SOURCE University of Toronto Students' Union

For further information: For further information: Anton Neschadim, GSU Executive member, (416)897-2789

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