McGill University had the long-standing pro-Palestinian encampment dismantled on campus Wednesday morning with the help of a private security firm and Montreal police.

McGill president Deep Saini said the university was clearing out the camp in “close collaboration” with the city and police, and through the “engagement of a qualified security firm.”

“This camp was not a peaceful protest,” Saini said in a written statement posted online.

“It was a heavily fortified focal point for intimidation and violence, organized largely by individuals who are not part of our university community.”


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According to university officials, security entered the encampment and demanded the pro-Palestinian protesters leave campus grounds. Following orders, some demonstrators were seen leaving the property in waves and not allowed to return.

The dismantling led to several splinter demonstrations in support of the encampment starting in the street. Sherbrooke Street was closed off.

McGill said classes typically held on campus would be moved online as it advised students and faculty to stay away. Libraries and campus daycares were also closed.

It’s unclear how many protesters remain on site as media have not been allowed access to campus grounds.

Quebec provincial police were also on site to assist in the operation.

The encampment began April 27 at McGill amid a wave of similar demonstrations across universities in the United States over the Israel-Hamas conflict. Since then, dozens of tents have been pitched on the university’s lower field.

A pro-Palestinian encampment in the heart of Montreal’s financial district was dismantled by police last week.

More to come. 

with files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise and The Canadian Press