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The University of Waterloo told a court there’s been a pattern of aggressive behaviour from pro-Palestinian encampment protesters, and that its campus has been vandalized with anti-Israel graffiti.

As previously reported by True North, the university is suing encampment organizers for $1.5 million worth of damages from encampment organizers, including for trespassing, damaging property, intimidation and enactment.

The university is also asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to order encampment protesters to “immediately dismantle and remove any encampment or obstructions erected, built, created, or imposed by them.”

Waterloo is in the process of mediation with protesters. 

In a statement of claim, the university made several allegations against encampment protesters. The allegations have not been proven in court.

The University of Waterloo is accusing pro-Palestinian protesters of having disrupted several university functions. 

Among the functions disrupted was a Jun. 18 board of governors meeting. The university says protesters formed a human chain, which “trapped individuals attending the (meeting)” and “made it challenging or impossible for them to enter or exit the board meeting.”

The university says protesters also interfered with its “UWaterloo Day,” a day aimed at giving incoming freshman students “an opportunity to learn more about the university and the services and amenities (available) to them.” 

It alleges that a faculty of engineering alumni dinner was disrupted, with protesters yelling into megaphones, chanting and scattering flyers onto attendees from an upper floor.

The statement of claim says encampment activists also disrupted a university Pride Month event.

“Armed with signs and air horns, they began chanting aggressively, making accusations that the president and vice-chancellor had blood on his hands and was responsible for 40,000 deaths, among other things,” the lawsuit claims.

According to the lawsuit, university leadership have been targeted multiple times by pro-Palestinian activists.

Waterloo says protesters put up posters on campus with the faces of university  president Vivek Goel and vice-president Charmaine Dean, with the words “Genocide Goel” and “Inhumane Charmaine” and stated they were “wanted for Complicity in Genocide.”

A pro-Palestinian activist also penned a letter titled “Genocide Goel,” where they called the president a “f***ing racist”. 

“[Y]ou will have no peace until you contribute your fair share of justice to the people of Palestine,” the letter warned. “Not yours truly, for your hands are red with blood.” 

The statement of claim says protesters also desecrated the door of the president’s office, vice-president’s office and provost’s office with threatening stickers that said, “our protest will continue until you DIVEST, BOYCOTT.” and “DIVEST. BOYCOTT. CONDEMN GENOCIDE. STOP BEING RACIST BASTARDS” 

The university also says it found graffiti that read “free Palestine” and “UW is complicit free Palestine” and that protesters hung a banner that read “Sufyan Taya Hall – honour our martyrs”.

True North reached out to encampment organizers for comment, but they did not respond. 

When the university announced its legal action in late Jun., organizers with Occupy UW blasted the university for its “shameful” decision.

“Incredibly shameful that (the University of Waterloo) is choosing to sue their own student body protesting their universities’ complicity in a genocide,” organizers said. “We are students who have risked everything we have to protest our universities complicity in this genocide and we refuse to allow those who fund death and destruction to break our resolve.”