March 21, 2008 – Toronto
March 20, 2008 thirty-five University of Toronto students occupied
Simcoe Hall, the home of the President’s Office, to protest a 20% fee
increase. The nonviolent sit-in was accompanied with a peaceful rally
outside the building–until the police began brutalizing those inside.
This was captured by multiple video cameras.
The students had three simple demands.
1) To be granted a meeting with President David Naylor;
2) To have the proposed fee increase removed from the University
Affairs Board meeting, scheduled to take place on March 25; and
3) To be given 15 minutes at the University Affairs Board meeting for
a presentation and discussion on broader issues of access to education
and the impacts of high tuition upon students, families and
Students attempted to deliver their letter to the University of
Toronto President, David Naylor, and to speak to other members of the
administration in Simcoe Hall about the rising costs of education in
Ontario. The administration refused to meet with the students. The
response of the University of Toronto was to violently remove students
from their peaceful sit-in. Police aggressively grabbed students and
dragged them away from the entrance of the office. The students
feared for their safety and after four hours in the building, the
police violence forced the students to leave.
Video of these events has been posted on YouTube and it can be viewed
Students are continuing to demand a meeting with President Naylor, and
the right to accessible and affordable education.
For more information contact:
Farshad Azadian, student member and organizer with AlwaysQuestion:
Ryan Hayes, President of Arts and Science Students Union: 416-421-0879
Michal Hay, Vice-President University Affairs, University of Toronto
Students’ Union: 647-802-4131.