Police Brutality at the University of Toronto

March 20, 2008 thirty-five University of Toronto students occupied Simcoe Hall, the home of the President’s Office, to protest a 20% fee increase. The nonviolent sit-in was accompanied with a peaceful rally outside the building—until the police began brutalizing those inside. This was captured by multiple video cameras.

The students had three simple demands.
1) To be granted a meeting with President David Naylor;
2) To have the proposed fee increase removed from the University Affairs Board meeting, scheduled to take place on March 25; and
3) To be given 15 minutes at the University Affairs Board meeting for a presentation and discussion on broader issues of access to education and the impacts of high tuition upon students, families and communities.

Students attempted to deliver their letter to the University of Toronto President, David Naylor, and to speak to other members of the administration in Simcoe Hall about the rising costs of education in Ontario. The administration refused to meet with the students. The response of the University of Toronto was to violently remove students from their peaceful sit-in. Police aggressively grabbed students and dragged them away from the entrance of the office. The students feared for their safety and after four hours in the building, the police violence forced the students to leave.

Video of these events has been posted on YouTube and it can be viewed here:

Images can be viewed here:

Students are continuing to demand a meeting with President Naylor, and the right to accessible and affordable education.

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