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After the Protest

Thursday, April 7, 2005

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  • Various documented injuries...(SFP website)

    Various documented injuries...(SFP website)

Written by Ryan White

Hey folks,

An update on yesterday's events:

For those who are not aware of what happened (or don't believe the University's story):

Yesterday between 100-150 students, workers and supporters gathered in the University Centre Courtyard to protest proposed layoffs and an increase of 4% to international student tuition.

The protest was timed to take place before the Board of Governors met to approve the proposed budget for 05/06. Despite the fact that this meeting is supposedly a public process student and worker protesters were denied access to the event before hand and met by campus police when they attempted to make their way to the 4th floor boardroom where the Board meets.

About 40 protesters were able to make it through police lines and forced President Alastair Summerlee to cave and allow students and workers into the meeting.

In the end, despite overwhelming pressure from the Central Student Association, the Graduate Student Association, workers, and students the board chose to approve the proposed budget. The University has made it clear that they do not care about the concerns of its workers and students.

We know that no students were arrested, however, three protesters went to the hospital afterwards – one was struck in the face by an officer, another had a badly swollen hand, and another had their shoulder separated after being thrown to the ground by security. All are OK and doing well.

  • Click HERE and follow the links for video of the event

Today, I am both proud and saddened by yesterday. On one hand, I am so proud to have been part of such an event. Yesterday was the largest show of dissent on campus since the late 90's. It was incredible to see students and workers coming together to oppose unjust and unfair layoffs and tuition fee increases. It was truly amazing to see the kind of solidarity that we saw and I want to thank everyone who came out, made noise, and made themselves heard.

At the same time I have never been so ashamed to be a University of Guelph student. To see the University administration use such force to prevent students from attending a public meeting was shocking and shameful. It is important to note that we requested a larger room last week and were turned down not once, but twice. Instead of ensuring that all students could speak we were greeted with police.

To see the board boldly ignore the concerns and wishes of students was absolutely appalling. Yesterday, the Board of Governors revealed itself for what it truly is – a sham. They do not represent the best interests of students, a point made crystal clear yesterday afternoon.


In solidarity,

Ryan White
CSA External Commissioner


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