Police have conducted a major raid on the Graduate Students’ Union building on Bancroft Avenue. Several sources have told The Varsity that the building was being used to billet students from other schools. Reports suggest that as many as 70 individuals were arrested and police have reported that they do not believe the arrested to be University of Toronto students. Many of the individuals removed from the GSU building addressed reporters in French.
Those arrested were marched one-by-one from inside the GSU to police buses parked on the north-east corner of Spadina Crescent. Police have reportedly seized black clothing, weapons, and illegal substances. About 10 officers stood on the patio of the Graduate Students’ Union Pub going through what appeared to be evidence with blue plastic gloves.
UTSU president Adam Awad told The Varsity that he had heard of the arrests from “a number of different people” but said that his organization had no additional information.
“It’s been very difficult to find anything out because there was no one at the GSU last night”, Angela Regnier, the Executive Director of the UTSU told The Varsity. “None of our GSU contacts can be reached.” Regnier alleges that campus police knew that the GSU was being used to billet protesters. Regnier also told The Varsity that GSU Vice-President External Daniel Vandervoort, who could not be reached for comment, was responsible for arranging the billeting.
These allegations come following a report by The Varsity that the UTSU met with administration last week and was informed of plans to divert protesters from Queen’s Park onto campus. Regnier added, “We collectively had a discussion with police prior to the campus closure.”
A statement issued on Sunday by the University of Toronto states that administration is “awaiting information from police [and] will have no further comment at this time”.
Arrests followed a series of protests on Sunday that saw confrontations between police and protesters in several areas across metropolitan Toronto. There have been reports of more than 500 arrests and police have used batons and rubber bullets to disperse crowds outside a detention center on Eastern Avenue.