The University of British Columbia will probe the April 4 protest that ended in the arrest of 19 students.
Stephen Owen, UBC VP external, told the Province Monday that the university is looking into the actions of both police and students involved in the incident. “But we haven’t come to any conclusions about excessive force [by police] or the behaviour of the students,” he said.
19 students were arrested during a protest to protect greenspace at UBC after the fire department showed up to put out a large bonfire. At least one student attempted to prevent the fire fighters from putting out the fire. The students are facing charges including assaulting a police officer, obstruction of a police officer, and resisting arrest. They will be in court mid April.
The students have accused police officers of using excessive force. Steve Klein, of the Students for a Democratic Society, says the students will be contacting the B.C. Civil Liberties Union and are considering a complaint to the province’s police complaint commissioner.
It turns out that the protesting students were not simply an extremist activist group on campus. According to the Ubyssey, the woman who reportedly blocked fire fighters from putting out the fire was Stephanie Ratjen, vice president external of the UBC Alma Mater Society, the largest students’ union in Canada.