Hamilton: Rally Against McMaster’s Protest Policies

From the People’s Protest Coaliton

Yesterday (March 29) the People’s Protest Coalition successfully held our Rally Against McMaster’s Protest Policies! After gathering outside the Student Centre, we marched over to Patrick Deane’s office and made our message loud and clear to the president himself: The so-called Anti-Disruption Guidelines have got to go! We finished off our rally with a disruptive march through the Student Centre to further illustrate our point – Protesting is our right, and we will stand up for our communities regardless of what Patrick Deane or his committee thinks is acceptable.

Meaningful dissent will never be acceptable to an administration that actively represses dissidents, hires racist cops like Glenn DeCaire and protects the platforms of far-right and fascist sympathizers. We know the policies are not neutral, but a symptom of the neoliberal university that is openly and increasingly antagonistic to progressive voices with the self-interested, self-stated goal of maintaining business as usual. The content and release of the policies, featuring zero input from those parties most affected, proves the administration’s ambivalence toward marginalized social strata, students, faculty, and unions, further necessitating our need to stand up and take action that is not limited to mere debate.

The People’s Protest Coalition intends to fight the policies to the end. This coming week we call on the whole campus community to participate in an email flood against the policies, please see the event page for more details:

https://www.facebook.com/events/202623783845133/

Down with the Protest Policies!

-PPC

Text submitted anonymously to Northshore. For some context, here is a previous statement from the PPC outlining the administration’s protest policy and their opposition to it:

McMaster’s administration have released “anti-disruption” guidelines that are designed to suppress political dissent. Using vague notions of “(un)acceptable” forms of protest, the policies allow the administration to shut down many forms of political activism, if necessary using brute force carried out by campus security and local police. In attacking our political rights, the policies directly and very negatively affect marginalized social strata, union members, and activists seeking progressive change on campus and in our communities. The policies do not serve the interests of students and faculty. They give the administration considerable power to carry out suppression, allowing them to ignore student demands and ultimately protect their own political and economic interests at our expense.

The People’s Protest Coalition Acknowledges

(1) The policies are a blatant power grab by the administration. They will not protect “Free Speech” or promote dialogue as claimed, they will enable the suppression of all political dissent that threatens the reputation or profits of the university

(2) Student activism is necessary and has been hugely important for anti-war, civil rights, and other widespread progressive social movements through history

(3) The policies will prevent organizing against far-right, racist, transantagonistic, or otherwise bigoted groups and individuals who will directly endanger marginalized social strata

We denounce the administration’s attempt to further limit what few avenues are available for political expression on campus. We condemn the Ad-Hoc committe and Patrick Deane for imposing these policies in an effort to police students who advocate for basic rights while pushing for what the administration will not – prioritizing student interests and creating a safe environment for marginalized folk.

We call for direct action against the administration and for participation of the whole McMaster community against the protest policies.

2 thoughts on “Hamilton: Rally Against McMaster’s Protest Policies”

  1. It doesn’t say anything about you not being able to protest. Just when somebody is giving a talk on a controversial subject, you can’t go into the room with cowbells and loud speakers and yell until they leave. You are perfectly free to stand outside and protest the event.

    1. Not part of this group, but to me, ideas matter and glossing over fundamental differences (do trans people deserve basic respect or not) as all being speech and therefore neutral takes away the power that ideas have. I see no fundamental difference between talking, arguing, and fighting. I don’t want to see the administration shutting down far-right speakers any more than I want to see them prevent me and my friends from shutting them down ourselves.

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