Student protesters marched to a Toronto courthouse Tuesday to protest criminal charges laid against 14 people involved in a rally against tuition increases.The 14, who were to appear in court to face charges, were charged after being involved in a March 20 sit-in at the University of Toronto.
University administrators called police, who forcefully removed the protesters.
About 80 protesters gathered Tuesday at the university campus, chanting slogans and playing music before they marched downtown accompanied by a police escort.
“We are rallying to show our support and to demand that the criminal charges be dropped, and the academic investigation against the students be dropped as well,” said protester spokeswoman Ahmina Hanif, a University of Toronto undergrad.
Some of those charged are also being investigated by the university under its student code of conduct.
University spokesman Rob Steiner said the charges were laid because the demonstration was violent. “It involved protesters grabbing, kicking, tripping and ultimately biting one of our staff,” he said Tuesday. Steiner said staff were confined to their offices by the protesters for several hours and were attacked when university police tried to escort them out.
Ontario’s average tuition is $850 more than the national average.
-with a report from CP