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Pro-Palestinian protest camp emerges at second B.C. university

VICTORIA — Pro-Palestinian protesters have set up camp at a second university in British Columbia, with tents going up on a field at the University of Victoria.

In an Instagram post, organizers Free Palestine BC says protesters are demanding the university “divest from all investments” connected to companies with Israeli business interests.

The university says in a brief statement that the protesters have set up a “small encampment” in the quad of the Victoria campus.

Photos on social media show tents with Palestinian flags and signs with slogans, although no barrier has been set up around the encampment’s perimeter.

University of Victoria security officers are also shown watching the protesters.

Protesters at the University of British Columbia set up camp on Monday, erecting fencing and other temporary barriers around a turf field and stocking supplies for a prolonged stay at the Vancouver campus.

Jewish groups in the province have urged the administration at UBC to ensure the safety of their members.

In a statement, Jewish student association Hillel BC says it has asked UBC for “proactive measures” to prevent “disruption to student life and the educational process.”

The statement posted on Instagram says the group has advised its community members not to engage the protest “in any way.”

Protesters at UBC say they are prepared to stay until the school agrees to demands that it support the Palestinian cause in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

Protest camps at universities across North America have resulted in clashes at Columbia University in New York and University of California-Los Angeles.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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