March 22, 2008

ACTIVISM: University of Toronto arrests

Sit-in at U of T ends as security officials move in

A group of University of Toronto students was up in arms Friday after their attempts to hold a sit-in at university administration offices were broken up by police and campus security.

Officials moved in Thursday after about 35 students attempted to stage their sit-in, first outside the president's office and then nearby at the office of the university's vice-provost.

"At one point, I was being pulled in three different directions by three different officers," Ryan Hayes, U of T Arts and Science Students Union president, told CBC News.

Hayes said the security officials included undercover campus police, uniformed campus police and members of Toronto police as well.

"Police were tackling people, dragging them out of the way," Farshad Azadian, a U of T student and one of the protest organizers, told CBC News on Friday.

The students said they wanted to give university president David Naylor a petition against a 20 per cent hike in residence fees.

Instead, their protest ended without them meeting any members of the university administration.

"I was pushed around like many people," Azadian said.

Security officials at U of T's downtown campus did not answer calls for comment on Friday.

The protesters first held a rally outside the building housing the president's office. When that rally ended, about half of the participants moved inside.

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