Today Faculty for Palestine put out this call:
*URGENT CALL FOR SOLIDARITY: UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA TRIES TO SILENCE SOLIDARITY FOR PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS (SPHR) AND WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!*
Defend the right to critical discussion around Israeli apartheid on our campuses! Call on the University of Ottawa Administration to uphold free expression and follow clear and transparent procedures.
On March 5th, Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) 2012 opened at the University of Ottawa to a packed room, as students, faculty, and community members were treated to an informative lecture entitled “Arab Spring, Apartheid Falls? The Egyptian Uprising and Possibilities for Palestinian Resistance.” It featured an Egyptian activist who played an important role in the revolution that overthrew the Egyptian dictatorship, as well as a community activist from Montreal (for full schedule, see: http://ottawa.apartheidweek.org/).
Moreover, two students from the organizing committee were harassed by unidentified individuals, who on several occasions attempted to intimidate SPHR and Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) just outside the lecture hall during the event.
On March 6th, a member of SPHR received an email from Conventions and Reservations Services at the University of Ottawa telling her that their room booking for Thursday’s Keynote IAW event is now “on hold”, that SPHR “may not continue with this event for now”, and that SPHR's contract was being forwarded to “Protection Service for evaluation.” These heavy-handed measures are because of an unnamed “incident” that supposedly occurred at Monday’s event. When members of SPHR met with the University administration, they were not told what this “incident” was (see below for full email from U of O). The very fact that the organizers were put in a situation, where their event was threatened with cancellation, is a form of intimidation from the University of Ottawa administration.
In 2009, the Administrations at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University banned the international-used IAW poster, gaining national and international headlines. SPHR and SAIA see today's email as another attempt to silence the voices of students who advocate for Palestinian human rights. When the IAW poster was banned in 2009, we stood up and fought back with all of your support.
In response to this email:
Email sent to SPHR from University of Ottawa:
Hello [SPHR member],
Following the incident that occurred during your event in Fauteux 147A on March 5th 2012, your event scheduled for March 8th in Hagen 302 from 18:00 to 23:00 is on hold therefore in ``Pending`` mode. You may not continue with this event for now. Also, I urgently need you to provide the name of the speaker(s) who spoke on the 5th of March as well as the ones that are scheduled to speak on the 8th of March 2012 in Hagen 302. This information needs to be provided to me no later than today. Also, I am forwarding your contract to Protection Services for evaluation. Again, you may not proceed with your event in Hagen 302 on the 8th of March until I confirm.
Please respond to this email promptly
Agent de coordination, Coordination agent
Service de congrès et réservations / Conventions and Reservations Service
UofOWatch Note: The last time this happened the CCLA wrote THIS stern letter of reprimand to Allan Rock. This time, the CCLA boss is Nathalie Des Rosiers, whose salary is paid by the University of Ottawa.