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Interview (8mins) Mike Roy - Banned from Western for "unauthorized protest" on "Israeli Day"

Demonstrating on campus but not enrolled as a student?

by Zach Ruiter

Interview (8mins) Mike Roy - Banned from Western for "unauthorized protest" on "Israeli Day"
Interview (8mins) Mike Roy - Banned from Western for "unauthorized protest" on "Israeli Day"
Interview (8mins) Mike Roy - Banned from Western for "unauthorized protest" on "Israeli Day"

London Ontario activist Mike Roy received a call from London Police to meet at a McDonald's.  Acting as letter carriers for the University of Western Ontario (now rebranded Western University), Roy was informed he was banned for one year from university property for "participating in a prohibited activity - Unauthorized Protest at U.C.C. [University Community Centre]". 

The unauthorized protest was a silent protest against "Israeli Day".  The protestors who were mainly students, put tape over their mouths and with their presence peacefully disrupted a celebration of Israeli culture.  The silence of the protestors evoked the corporeality for those living under Israeli Apartheid*. 

When activism effectively threatens authority, in Mike Roy's experience, it is deemed unauthorized, which leads to the question; how could authorized protest coherently challenge authority?

Roy's notice of trespass is proudly displayed on his facebook, in the counter currency of activism in London Ontario, it is a badge of honour, but within the university, does participating by paying tuition without strike or providing labour without disruption make those involved complicit in suppressing dissent in the name of their institution?

According to Roy, student groups are now very afraid to do actions on campus.  Roy has disregarded the ban by participating in a banner drop against tuition hikes, a Council of Canadians action, as well as a rally followed by a brief visit to the office of the president of the university.

 

*note on the use of the term Apartheid:

The United Nation's 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid allows for the inclusive use of 'Apartheid' as a sign of a set of circumstances in their own right:

"The Apartheid Convention declares that apartheid is a crime against humanity and that "inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination" are international crimes (art. 1). Article 2 defines the crime of apartheid –"which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa" – as covering "inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them."

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Zach Ruiter (Zach Ruiter)
Peterborough, ON
Member since December 2011

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zruiter@gmail.com please!

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