On Thursday November 6, the man in the video above barged into the Campus Students’ Union office at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) demanding that a poster calling for divestment from the Israeli occupation be removed from a window. The man was recording the incident on his cell phone as he threatened students and claimed the poster constituted a “hate crime.” He then ripped the poster from the window while ranting about valuing “Canadian lives,” Israel and seemingly justifying his anger by stating “I’m a fuckin’ Jew.”
A police report was filed but the man returned a couple weeks later after students put up a new divestment poster. According to U of T Divest – Scarborough in a letter to University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation, this time the man’s threats were even worse:
Campus police filed a report and said to notify them if the man returns. After a couple of weeks we put up another sign. The man came back. He forced his way into the student union. We tried to calm him down and initiate dialogue. The man replied with, “I’ll rip your fucking throat out” and “I have twelve guys on standby ready”—implying that he or other people will be back. He shouted that he use to be a part of the “israeli” military and regularly killed “terrorists”. Campus police came to the scene and issued the man a Notice of Trespass for the UTSC campus.
In fury, we wondered how a man with no affiliation to the University of Toronto invaded student spaces, threatened students, stole private property, and walked away with just a Notice of Trespass.
Only a Notice of Trespass? That seems shocking under the circumstances.
Here is the correspondence from the University of Toronto that students shared with Mondoweiss:
According to a member of U of T Divest – Scarborough, the University asked the students to not talk to the media. But after inaction from the University the student says, “we are done being silenced.”
In addition to the video above, the man also took a video of himself urinating on the poster while making racist threats directed at Arabs and Muslims and/or: “Anybody who has a problem with Israel you have something in common – I’m the devil baby I don’t think you want to play games with me.”
Here’s a full transcript from the 2nd video:
This is the poster that was located … University’s window that I removed warning : “This university profits off Israeli apartheid occupied”. You disgusting Arabs, you make me sick. Now I’m gonna show you how sick I really am. I gonna take my dick and I gonna pee, motherfuckers you think I playing games.
Here, hold on a second lemme try on your fucking sign, hold on a second hold on, feel how much I hate you coming here. Just for you guys, you see? Peeing on your fucking assholes. Anybody who has a problem with Israel you have something in common – I’m the devil baby I don’t think you want to play games with me.
See I’m still peeing on your sign assholes, this sign’s going to the garbage. I have no respect for you fucking assholes. ‘U of T’ you call yourself the University of Toronto liars fucking lowlife motherfuckers. There’s your sign, pee’d on, see, you feel good Arabs I pee’d all over you an’ not only that I got the trophy out of your f’ing office.
Any Arab, or Muslim who disrespects our values in Canada or values of rights here will have to confront my f’ing ugly face, as bad as they don’t want to, this is un-tolerated we are bitches.
In the same letter sent from the students to the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation Students from U of T Divest – Scarborough reiterated their demands:
Why hasn’t the University been held accountable for investing in companies such as Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, both of which supply F-16 bomber jets and Hellfire missiles to “israel”? Why do our tuition dollars continue to fund “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine? The University—rather than addressing their complicity—responded with increased policing of student union spaces and activism. We are not looking for increased policing of activist activities, we want to cut ties with international law violations without facing death threats. If the University of Toronto did not invest in these companies we would not be threatened repeatedly on University grounds.
We demand that the University of Toronto, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation:
– Immediately divest from companies complicit in international law violations, including all companies profiting off “israel’s” colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land.
– Apologize and take accountability for the violence and death threats we’ve incurred as a result of raising awareness of UTAM’s investments.
– Ensure safer spaces for student organizers not through increased policing and surveillance but rather by validating our voices and addressing our concerns.
In April 2013 the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU), representing about 10,000 undergraduate students at UTSC, endorsed the 2005 call from Palestinian civil society for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel (BDS).