Maintain peace, order and civility at York University

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We, the undersigned York University students, would like to express our concerns about safety and security on campus during the ongoing CUPE 3903 strike. With all due respect, we draw the Board’s attention to what we see as radical, disruptive and potentially violent activism on Keele campus. The strike has inspired questionable activism. Here are some of the things we have observed so far:

1. Vandalism
An unknown individual, individuals, group or groups have smeared crude graffiti in the hallway approaching the Student Centre. The graffiti also featured what is possibly a symbol for a radical and sometimes violent anarchist movement. This same symbol appeared on a pillar in the same hallway. Further, it has come to our attention that an individual on social media claimed that members of “Antifa” (one such radical movement) was responsible for the graffiti and is planning further actions. This member appeared to claim support for CUPE 3903. Antifa has a documented history of violent actions in pursuing their political aims. We condemn violence from all sides and we believe these actions pose a serious security risk on campus as well as risk to peace, order and civility.

2. Extremist rhetoric and hate speech
Other posters have proclaimed violent rhetoric toward members of the York University senior administration. It is unacceptable to threaten the lives of people with whom one disagrees with on political grounds.

Potential negative effects on York University

1. Such radical activism has been known known to negatively affect universities’ reputation and enrolment numbers over time.

2. A hostile and disruptive environment such as this compromises the education and learning experience of university students, impacts their mental health and future prospects, and poses a risk to their safety on campus.

We respectfully request that York University administration stand up to CUPE 3903’s extreme rhetoric and help elevate the voices of students who do not support CUPE 3903’s strike. We also request York University maintain civility, peace and order on campus.

The photo above is the graffiti we described.