This past year, we witnessed weeks of hand-wringing over student concerns with the actions of University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, followed by an outcry over the Lindsay Shepherd incident at Wilfrid Laurier University. Yet amidst this widespread conversation about free speech and academic freedom, there has been a glaring blind spot: the repression of pro-Palestinian activism.
I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in 2015 when I became involved with pro-Palestine organizing at the University of Toronto (UofT.) Activists at UofT have been fighting to raise the issue of Palestine on campus for years, with some success among students, by encouraging targeted divestment at the institutional level.
The administration, through the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation, invests millions of dollars in companies that profit or participate in resource extraction, private prisons, and technology used in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.