Media advisory - Rally and March against the Criminalization of Dissent on Campus

    What: Rally and March against the Criminalization of Dissent on Campus.
    Spokespeople will be available to speak with the media outside Old City
    Hall at 1:30 pm
    When: Tuesday June 3rd at 12 pm
    Where: Simcoe Hall, University of Toronto, 27 King's College Circle
    marching down University Ave. to Old City Hall Courts (60 Queen St. W.)

    TORONTO, June 2 /CNW/ - On Tuesday, June 3, students and allies will be
marching from Simcoe Hall to Old City Hall to protest U of T's campaign of
intimidation towards those mobilizing against fee hikes. Students and allies
will march to Old City Hall and gather outside the courthouse at 1:30 pm, for
the legal proceedings of fourteen people charged and arrested for their
alleged involvement in a protest on March 20. The purpose of the rally is to
demonstrate our support for these students and workers as well as to oppose
the criminalization of dissent at U of T.
    On March 20, students and their allies organized a sit-in at the
University of Toronto's administrative offices in Simcoe Hall to protest
against increasing student fees. The peaceful sit-in ended after police
exercised aggression against the demonstrators on the orders of senior
administrators. Spokesperson Aminah Hanif comments on the possible
consequences for these alleged incidents, "In addition to potential jail time,
many of the charged, as well their supporters, are facing academic penalties,
including suspension and expulsion, under U of T's Code of Student Conduct."
Undeterred, students continued to organize against fee hikes with rallies on
March 25 and April 10 during U of T's Governing Council proceedings, and held
an open forum on the accessibility of education on April 7.
    In response, the U of T administration worked with Toronto Police to
charge and arrest 14 students and organizers for alleged involvement in the
March 20 sit-in. The "Fight Fees 14" have been released on strict bail
conditions that prohibit association with one another and for some time banned
their access to University of Toronto property. In addition, at least 15
students have been threatened with investigation under U of T's Code of
Student Conduct, which carries sanctions that can include suspension or
expulsion. However, these sanctions have only garnered more support from the
community, with over 2000 people signing the online petition, as well as
support expressed by various student and labor unions, including CUPE Ontario.

For further information:

For further information: Gabi Rodriguez, (416) 529-8755; Aminah Hanif,
(416) 902-3330

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