Kingston, Canada (Agencies): A pro-Palestinian encampment has been set up at Queen’s University in Kingston, joining a network of similar encampments seen at university and college campuses across the country. Protesters at Queen’s have stated they plan to stay until their demands are met – that the university divest from its investments in Israeli companies and the Israeli military.

This development follows the establishment of encampments on other campuses across the country, most notably at McGill University, where the administration is seeking a court injunction to force protesters to clear out.

The encampment at Queen’s began on May 10. Protesters had hoped to speak at a university board of trustees meeting to request divestment but were refused entry. Some protesters have accused campus security of using excessive force during the incident.

Jake Morrow, a graduate student at the university who was at the protest, stated, “They wouldn’t hear them in an open session as mandated in their bylaws to be heard.” He added that the plan to set up an encampment only came about after the incident with campus security.

The university issued a statement on Monday stating the encampment had been “contained and secured.” It advised staff and faculty to exercise their best judgement when accessing the courtyard by Reem’s Hall, the site of the encampment. The statement also mentioned reports of aggressive acts and threats made during the early protest but did not provide details.

The university secretariat has received a request on divestment, which is currently under review. The process involves providing a written case, along with a petition of at least 200 signatures, which is then reviewed by the secretariat and forwarded to the principal. The request is then pushed through an independent review committee.

On Monday, several faculty and staff members at Queen’s held a press conference at the encampment to show their support for the protesters. Samantha King, the director of the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, read a statement prepared for the conference, saying any threats or violence that occurred outside Reem’s Hall were incited by campus security and police. She expressed dismay at the administration’s ongoing failure to respond responsibly to an international crisis in the capacity of an educational institution.

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