*University of Toronto community opposes campus closure during the G20:
Decision to "restrict access" heavy-handed and repressive*
The decision to close the University of Toronto St. George campus during
the G20 summit - the week of June 21-27 - contradicts the purpose of the
university, reinforces harmful stereotypes of protesters, legitimizes
police repression and violence, and does not reflect the wishes of
students, staff and faculty.
Universities are sites for critical engagement and debate. The
University of Toronto, as a place of higher learning, should be
encouraging dialogue and engagement on the role of the G8/G20 and the
future of our planet. Instead, administrators are prohibiting access to
the campus, stifling dialogue and fostering a climate of fear.
According to a May 21st memo, the campus closure is necessary because of
the "designated protest zone" at Queen's Park. Playing into media hype,
University administrators have chosen to focus on a crude "protesters
vs. police" characterization of anti-G20 efforts, and entirely sidestep
the issues that compel people to oppose the G20 and its policies. In so
doing, they reinforce cynical stereotypes of protesters and legitimize
The University did not consult students, staff, or faculty in making
this decision. This decision places an unacceptable and unnecessary
burden on students, instructors and researchers, forcing them to
postpone their research, alter their course and exam schedules, and even
abandon their homes.
For these reasons, we call on Provost Cheryl Misak and President David
Naylor to immediately rescind their decision to close the campus during
the G20 summit. We invite campus community members and organizations to
join us. To endorse this statement, please send an email to
POVERTY FREE ONTARIO. UTPDA has endorsed the campaign Poverty Free Ontario campaign.