Protesters march over poster ban at Carleton
More than 100 protesters gathered at the entrance to the office of the president of Carleton University Thursday afternoon in a bid to have a poster approved that promotes Israeli Apartheid Week, which opens at universities in 10 countries March 1.
Carleton banned the poster a week and a half ago. This week, the University of Ottawa also banned the poster, which shows an Israeli helicopter firing a missile at a Palestinian child labelled "Gaza."
Carleton also sent out an email warning that students could face sanctions if they incite discriminatory or harassing behaviour on campus.
"We took this as a threat. But it hasn't stopped us from organizing. It's given us motivation," said Jessica Carpinone of Students Against Israeli Apartheid.
The protesters gathered at a lecture hall before marching to the office of university president Roseann Runte, where they delivered a speech.
Runte listened politely, but didn't offer much in her response.
"I think your presence here is exactly an evidence that you can speak on campus. And the fact that I listened to you is a fact that you are heard. Thank you for coming here today," Runte said.
With that, Runte went back into her office, and a security guard locked the door.
Carleton spokesman Christopher Walters said the decision to ban the poster was made by members of the administration's equity services office.
"You have to rely on the judgment of professionals in this area. They've looked at the poster, they've discussed the poster, they've decided that altogether it could infringe on the Human Rights Code, and it wasn't worth the risk," Walters said.