York University in Toronto
York University in TorontoiStock

Toronto police on Thursday dismantled a pro-Palestinian Arab encampment set up at York University, a day after it was erected, CBC News reported.

In a statement, the protesters claimed that police "violently" cleared the encampment at 8:00 a.m. The statement added the university's administration sent an email Wednesday night asking about establishing a dialogue with protesters, but before talks could happen, police were called in.

The protesters' statement said that demonstrators continue to demand that the university disclose and divest from any investments in companies profiting from Israel's offensive in Gaza, alongside other requests.

The university, meanwhile, said in its own statement Thursday that on Wednesday morning, a group of people "unknown to the university" set up tents in the Harry W. Arthurs Common at the school's Keele campus "despite efforts by York security indicating that they were not allowed to do so."

"Those who set up the encampment have now received a trespass notice due to their unauthorized use of campus grounds," the statement read.

The university also said people involved in the encampment "left peacefully," and school employees are clearing the site.

Toronto police said in a statement, “On Thursday, June 6, 2024, York University served a trespass notice to protestors who erected an unauthorized encampment on their property early yesterday.”

“York University reached out yesterday to request police assistance after making it clear that encampments on their property are not permitted. This morning, the Toronto Police Service acted under the authority of the Trespass to Property Act at the request of York University.”

“Approximately 40 protestors at the encampment left as directed. One person returned and was arrested under the Trespass to Property Act,” added Toronto police.

The encampment at York University is the second one to have been set up at a university in Toronto. A similar encampment was set up at the University of Toronto, prompting the institution to turn to the courts in an effort to clear it.

Both encampments come as Toronto has seen an uptick in acts of antisemitism in the months following Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel.

Last Friday, Toronto police said there have been close to 190 alleged hate crimes reported so far this year, nearly half of them antisemitic.

Recent incidents include vandalism at the Kehillat Shaarei Torah Synagogue in the city’s north end. The synagogue had been hit with vandalism twice in four weeks.

Days later, two gunmen opened fire on a Jewish girls school in the North York district of Toronto. There were no injuries in the incident, which took place at 4:52 a.m. local time.