Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 24


Preliminary Report on the events of 10 November 2011

1 December 2011


Preliminary Report on the events of 10 November 2011

1 December 2011 Version 1.1 If we are complacent, the world will pass us by. and Vice-Chancellor Heather Monroe-Blum


AUTHORS Amelia Bagnoli Christopher Bangs David Benrimoh Allison Cooper Matt Dowling Hugo Lafrenire Nathaniel Laywine Harmon Moon Mark Phillips Hannah Rackow

The contents of this primary report were written in English, with the exception of the Inquirys Mandate and Methodology and testimonies given in other languages. A French version will be released at a later date. Lenqute a crit ce rapport en anglais, sauf le mandat et la mthodologie et la documentation qui ont t crit en franais. On publiera une version franaise ultrieurement.

4 CONTENTS: 1. Mandate, Methodology, and Data (Mandat, mthodologie, et rsultats) 2. Historical Context and Precedent 3. Chronology of Events (By Location) 3.1. James Administration Building, fifth floor 3.2. James Administration Building, second floor 3.3. James Administration Building, outside 3.4. Reactions 4. Key Findings 5. Effects on Community (eg. Psychological Impacts) 6. Recommendations 6.1. Views of the Occupation of the James Administration Buildings Fifth Floor 6.2. Views on McGill Securitys Response 6.3. Views on the Service de police de la Ville de Montral 6.4. Views on the McGill Administration 6.5. Views on McGills Emergency Support System 6.6. Suggestions from Respondents Regarding Rrocedure and Methodology 7. Next Steps and Concerns 8. Appendices / Interview Lists 1. MANDATE, METHODOLOGY, AND DATA 1.1. MANDATE/MANDAT The Independent Student Inquiry was formed to investigate the events of 10 November, which left many members of the McGill community shocked, frustrated, and confused. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the official investigation, and the importance of having students take an active role in the analysis of the events and context of of November 10th, we have been tasked with carrying out a parallel inquiry. The Inquiry will collect testimony from affected groups, review photographic and video evidence, and work to make as much information public as possible. We will release a preliminary report on 1 December, and a final report in January. All interested community members are encouraged to take part. The inquiry's goal is to provide an objective, democratic, representative account of the events. Lenqute tudiante indpendante a t cre pour investiguer les vnements du 10 novembre qui ont laisss les membres de la communaut de McGill choqus, frustrs et confus. Vu lincertitude qui accompagne linvestigation officielle, nous avons t chargs dentreprendre une enqute parallle dsintresse. Cette enqute rassemblera les tmoignages des groups affects, elle examinera les preuves photographiques et audiovisuelles, et elle runira autant dinformation possible, tout en le rendant accessible au publique. Nous publierons un rapport prliminaire le 1 dcembre et un rapport final en janvier. Tout membre de la communaut est encourag de nous joindre ou de nous aider. 1.2. METHODOLOGY/MTHODOLOGIE The Independent Student Inquiry was formed to investigate the events of 10 November. We will work to make information available to the general public by collecting testimonies and reviewing photographic, audio-visual, and documentary evidence. The Inquiry will release a final report in January, and will further attempt to isolate the chain of events, determine the direct culpability of the main actors, and make recommendations so as to avoid

5 similar events in the future. The Inquiry will also attempt to document the emotional and psychological effects of the events by examining testimonies given by those on the scene. The Inquiry was formed as a parallel investigation to that being conducted by Dean of Law Daniel Jutras, and will work to make his investigation accountable to the public. The Independent Student Inquiry's methodology is based around four main pillars: 1. Total transparency All documents, recordings, testimonies, and interviews received by the Inquiry will be made available to the general public subject to the confidentiality requested by respondents. Should information be specifically solicited by the Inquiry the means by which this solicitation was undertaken will also be made public. 2. Open participation Anybody is welcome to contribute to the inquiry and aid in the collecting and processing of information. This includes holding interviews (provided that the consent of the interviewee is obtained), reading documents, issuing requests for information, and writing and editing the report. 3. Consensus-based decision-making All decisions regarding the report are made with the approbation of all members of the Inquiry willing to identify themselves as authors. Should it prove impossible to reach consensus, a decision will be made based on a three-quarters majority vote, with dissenting parties publicly indicating their positions. 4. Confidentiality The providence of all information used in the report is confidential unless its source indicates otherwise. The Inquiry will work rigorously to ensure that testimonies released will include no information pertaining to the source's name, field of study, place of origin, or current living situation. Four students (Chris Bangs, Allison Cooper, Matt Dowling, Mark Phillips) have access to the email account and will see all information sent to independentstudentinquiry@gmail.com (or enqueteetudianteindependante@gmail.com). Transcriptions and testimonies will be disseminated among other authors as needed, but all personal information will be removed prior to transcription unless otherwise indicated. 1 * On a tabli l'Enqute tudiante indpendante pour examiner les vnements de 10 Novembre, qui s'ont mis la communaut McGill en choque, frustration, et confus. On fera l'information en domaine publique par la rassemblement des dpositions et des documents photographique, audio-visuel, et crit. L'enqute publiera un rapport prliminaire le 1 Dcembre. Le rapport prliminaire sera un rsum des rsultats trouvs par cette temps, en incluant un chronologie, des conclusions cls, et un synthse des recommandations des protagonistes. On publiera un rapport complet en Janvier 2012, et essayera de plus

Our confidentiality statement can be found in Appendix 8.1.

6 de trouver la suite des vnements, dterminer les responsabilits des protagonistes, et donner des recommandations au but d'viter des situations pareils en futur. L'enqute tentera aussi de montrer l'tat sensible et psychologique McGill actuellement. On a cre l'Enqute en tandem avec lequel de Daniel Jutras, le Doyen de la Facult de droit, et il travaillera de lui tenir pour responsable quand son rapport de est publi par la Principale Heather MonroeBlum le 15 Dcembre 2011. La mthodologie de l'Enqute est fond sur quatre thmes: 1. La transparence complte L'enqute rendra disponible au public tout documents photographique, audio-visuel, et crit qu'il a reu, selon la confidentialit requir par des rpondeurs. Si l'Enqute fait un demande spcifique au information, il rendra public ses mthodes. 2. La participation ouverte N'importe qui est accueilli de contribuer l'Enqute et nous aider avec la collection et traitement d'information. On peut faire des interviews (avec l'accord de la personne interviewe), lire des documents, dlivrer des requtes d'information, et aider en crire et rdiger le rapport. 3. Les dcisions par consensus Tout les auteurs identifies sur le rapport dcident tout des questions par consensus. Si l'accord des tout parties n'est pas possible, un dcision peut tre achev avec un vote d'un majorit trois-quarts, avec les gens qui ne sont pas en accord identifiant leurs positions publiquement. 4. La confidentialit La source de tout information au sein du rapport est confidentiel sauf quand elle n'en veut pas. L'enqute travaillera fort protger le nom, concentration, lieu d'origine, ou lieu d'habitation de l'informateur/informatrice. Quatre tudiants (Chris Bangs, Allison Cooper, Matt Dowling, Mark Phillips) aura l'accs au l'adresse lectronique enqueteetudianteindependante@gmail.com (ou independentstudentinquiry@gmail.com) et verra tout l'information y envoye. On rpand au des autres auteurs si ncessaire, mais tout information personnel sera supprimer en avant, sauf si l'informant veut autrement.2 1.3. DATA COLLECTED Various data were consulted in the creation of this report. In addition to news media sources, including campus and external media outlets, photographic and video evidence, the Inquiry received 33 unique accounts from witnesses and actors involved in events. Of the 33 unique accounts, 19 were interviews conducted by members of the Inquiry, while 14 were written testimonials. Requests for interviews were solicited via Facebook and the Student Society of McGill University and Mob Squad McGill listservs. Further interview requests were sent to

On trouvera notre politique de confidentialit dans lappendice 8.1.

7 administration members, campus security, staff members identified in video evidence as having been present that night, and staff members who signed their name to the open letter in the McGill Daily entitled We, too, are McGill (19 November, 2011). Of the 33 testimonials, none were with administrators or non-faculty staff. Respondents were informed that their privacy would be fully respected. Each respondent was given the option to provide evidence for this report with or without a name attached, as well as the option to post any portion, or none, of their account on our website with or without a name attached. All names of protesters or bystanders mentioned in the testimonials have been removed. Requests for specific information were sent to members of the administration, to the SPVM, and to Dean Jutras. In addition, a student inquiry team member called in to the Principals public webcast asking for an interview (29 November 2011), to which she replied that she is only participating in the Dean of Laws investigation. To Vice Principal (University Services) Jim Nicell, an email was sent inquiring after the chain of command surrounding the McGill Attention emergency texting system, and the cost of its use. A series of questions were sent to Sergeant Ian Lafrenire, Responsable Module relations mdias of the SPVM (Appendix 8.4); no response was received as of the writing of this report. Further questions were sent to Dean Jutras (Appendix 8.8). A response was received, but without answers to the questions. Six Access to Information requests were delivered to McGill University. An additional five were mailed to the Service de police de la Ville de Montral (SPVM). Each request was mailed in French on November 25th. The full text of the requests can be found in the appendix. 2. HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND PRECEDENT This section provides a preliminary, contextual basis for the events of 10 November. It details past events involving protest, police, and students in Qubec, particularly in and around McGill University. On-campus sit-ins and occupations have a long history, and the reader will find discrepancies and similarities between the outcomes of 10 November and the other historical examples. We present two cases from the late 1960s that led to police intervention on campus. Finally, we turn to the current, tense relationship between on-campus policing, freedom of speech, and the university administration. Rising tensions between administration and students provide the context for the events of 10 November: labour strikes, tuition increases and disciplinary procedures filed under false pretences against students can be seen as only the symptoms of a perceived disconnect between the institutions of this university and the people they aim to represent. In 1958, students found an ambitious target for a sit-in: Qubecs premier, Maurice Duplessis. Against the backdrop of a student strike and call for reform to the university system, three students went to the antechamber of the Premiers office in Quebec City. This became a daily ritual for the following three months. Their demand was simple: for Duplessis to meet with the administrative leaders of Qubecs universities. Each day, Premier Duplessis refused to act, and occasionally jeered at them. Each day, the students reported their results to the press gallery and spent the rest of their time in either the antechamber to the premiers office or the provincial library. They hoped that their situation would attract continued media attention to the wider, popular call for reform of government-university relations.3

Nicole Neatby, Carabins ou Activistes? Lidalisme et la radicalisation de la pense tudiante lUniversit de Montral, 232-237. Lhistoire des trois, http://www.nfb.ca/film/histoire_des_trois.

8 Taken from the experiences of the Indian Independence and American Civil Rights movements, sit-ins are highly symbolic and visible for their advocates and annoying and disruptive for their targets. McGill was no stranger to such actions even before 10 November. In 1997, students occupied the James Administration building for three days, having trained themselves in passive resistance beforehand. They provided James Administration Building employees with waivers declaring their choice to stay to underline the fact that staff were working in an occupied building.4 Although the recent mantra of Occupy Everything, Demand Nothing may obscure occupiers long-term goals which they claim not to have the basic dynamics of the sit-in remain unchanged. The latest occupation against tuition increases has other precedents. On January 10, 2008 ten students occupied the foyer between the Provost and the Principals offices, sealing it with bungee cords. Provost Masi and Deputy Provost Mendelson eventually forced entry into their own workspaces and commenced their work days. The students remained for four hours before leaving. Three years later in January 2011, members of Association pour une solidarit syndicale tudiant (ASS), from Universit du Qubec Montral, Universit Laval, Universit de Montral, and the Universit du Qubec Chicoutimi, staged sit-ins at the offices of their respective rectors. In 2005, a group of Muslim students staged a similar occupation in protest against the lack of prayer space on campus.5 Occupation is an old tradition at McGill and, consequently, so is police intervention. A particularly contentious student disciplinary hearing in 1967 led 30 students to an impromptu occupation of the James Administration building. Police arrived two hours later, dragged them out, and left them on the buildings front steps. No arrests were made.6 Two years later, McGill University found itself situated in the white-hot rhetoric of decolonization and Quebecois nationalism. As an English-language university and beneficiary of the capitalist system, McGill found itself to be a target of this rhetoric. On March 28, 1969, 10,000 members of the labour movement, nationalists, and students (including 200 from McGill) marched from Square StLouis to the university campus, demanding a Francophone, socialized university. 500 security guards and riot cops were stationed on campus in its defence. The threat of violence was a real possibility: the FLQ had recently bombed the Montreal Stock Exchange, and memories were still fresh of the destruction of the Sir George Williams College (now Concordia University) computer labs. Nevertheless, the event ended peacefully.7 Following this, police activity on campus was negligible until the 2000s. The present-day relationship between the University, its private security services and the municipal police force has diverged from its recent historical precedent. A modern security force must meet the needs of an urban campus: crime happens, both in the Milton-Parc community and on campus,8 hence a dozen other security functions (e.g., preventing inebriated froshies from leaving campus in contravention of open-container laws, lost and found services, card-readers, and the Adapted Transport service) are useful and reasonable.
4 5

Anand Bery, Revisiting 1997: A generation apart, The McGill Tribune, 29 November 2011. Kelly Ebbels, Students occupy McGill principal's office, demand free education, The McGill Daily, January 2008. Republished at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/redmonton/message/2918. Maya Shoukri, Students occupy rectors offices, The McGill Daily, 29 January 2011. 6 Andrew Mullins and Sean Pierre, Salaries for Students (and other cries of protest), McGill News Alumni Quarterly, Winter 1997, http://news-archive.mcgill.ca/w97/salaries.htm. 7 Sean Mills, The Empire Within: Postcolonial Thought and Political Activism in Sixties Montreal (Kingston, Montral: McGill-Queens University Press, 2010). John Provart, McGill franais 30 years later, McGill News Alumni Quarterly, Summer 1999, http://news-archive.mcgill.ca/w97/salaries.htm. 8 Steven Hoffer, Laptops stolen from Burnside, The McGill Tribune, 10 November 2009. Ali Withers, SSMU accuses police of mishandling assault cases in Milton-Parc area, The McGill Daily, 16 April 2008.

However, this is only one side of the coin. The unclear, restrictive boundaries between students, the SPVM, the justice system and campus security have led to public debate regarding the nature of free and reasonable expression at McGill. At times, this debate has been hostile and aggressive. The negotiations between the McGill University Non-Academic Certified Association (or MUNACA, the labour union of the schools support staff) and the universitys upper-level administrators became a lightning rod during the fall semester of 2011.9 On 11 October 2011, several students were charged with disciplinary violations after a public sit-in at the Y-intersection. The students were cleared of the charges (one of the accused was not present at the demonstration).10 A lengthy provincial injunction heavly restricted on MUNACAs ability to protest.11 A number of students argued that major administrative priorities and mentalities are wrongheaded and out-of-touch. After 10 November, initiatives included a campaign to reform the Board of Governors, a petition calling for Principal Monroe-Blum resignation, as well as actions in solidarity with MUNACA.12 The security service has also used police intervention in issues that are not directly linked to university operations. The highly-charged Choose Life saga is a vivid example. In 2009, the antiabortion group Choose Life staged an event on campus linking access to abortion to various statesponsored genocides of the 20th century. Student protesters attempted to disrupt the event, an action that ended with two arrests.13 Police were allowed the final word on a highly volatile issue about what constitutes a reasonable limitation of free speech on the McGill campus. This section of the Preliminary Report remains a brief overview of the history of police and protest in Quebec and at McGill. The final report of January 2012 hopes to include, among other fields: 1. A comprehensive bibliography of the relevant topics: protest and tuition, policing strategies, campus security, and free speech issues. 2. A sustained look at protest (student or otherwise) at McGill University and in Montral - from the 1970s to the mid 1990s. What has changed in the long run? 3. A wider investigation of policing, security, and protest throughout the last 15 years, including Canadian, North American and global contexts.

3.1. JAMES ADMIN BUILDING, FIFTH FLOOR Sources: Four accounts from occupiers, public record

Henry Gass, Undergraduate students involved in pro-MUNACA demonstration cleared of charges, The McGill Daily, 29 October 2011. 10 Ibid. 11 Henry Gass, McGill secures second injunction against striking workers, The McGill Daily, 22 October 2011.


Resignation of Heather Munroe-Blum: New Leadership for McGill,

http://www.change.org/petitions/resignation-of-heather-munroe-blum-new-leadership-for-mcgill. Erin Hudson, Student-led initiative seeks to reform Board of Governors, The McGill Daily, 26 November 2011. 13 Erin Hale, Choose Life protest ends in arrests, The McGill Daily,


Floorplan of James Administration Building, Floor 5

Fifth Floor Occupation Timeline: 3:45 - occupiers enter the building (Matthew Crawford) 4:05 - call received regarding occupation (Farid) 4:07 - outgoing text: I occupied (Anonymous Occupier) 4:11-4:15 - alleged assault in publicly released video occurs (Anonymous occupiers estimate) 4:14 - friend asked if occupier was OK and he began updating other people (Anonymous Occupier) 4:58 - First floor occupier calls to fifth floor occupier, and determines that they are negotiating for amnesty (Anonymous) 5:23 - outgoing text: were negotiating (Anonymous Occupier) 5:30/40 - occupiers leave (Matthew Crawford) The occupiers entered the building between 3:45 and 4:00. They had planned the occupation five days in advance, and had discussed it for over two weeks. In the end, 14 entered the building. The group entered through the back door and walked up to the fifth floor (via STAIR 2). Between five and seven of them wore bandanas as they walked down the hallway (5-HALL2 and 5-HALL1) and entered the Reception room (512). Due to the MUNACA strike, the reception desk was empty. The occupiers then knocked on the door to the Offices of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor (506). The door is kept locked, so they waited until a staff member opened the door to inquire as to their purpose. A male occupier stuck out his foot to block the door, which they pushed open enough so that other occupiers could enter the room by moving past the staff member still holding it. Two occupiers entered Principal Monroe-Blums unlocked personal office. Matthew Crawford describes barricading the door they entered through as security bashed against it on the other side. Ethan Kyle Feldman and other occupiers then hung a banner from a window in 506, reading 10 Nov, Occupons McGill.


By 4:05, the occupiers sent texts and made phone calls informing others of their success. Many of the occupiers removed their bandanas; only one remained masked for the duration of the occupation. At around this time, McGill Security unlocked another door to the room complex - either the door between rooms 507 and 512, or 507 and 511 - and entered the offices. Director of Media Relations Doug Sweet filmed events, and Security Operations Administrator (Special Events) Kevin Byers and four security officers, two male and two female, approached the occupiers and asked them to leave, threatening to call the police. An occupier in the Principals office (509) then alleged that Mr. Byers approached him, pushed him from behind, punched him in the back, and kneed him in the lower back. Another occupier can be seen on video as he was dragged by Security from room 509 to room 512. In room 512, at approximately 4:17, all 14 were present and occupiers made phone calls and sent text messages informing outsiders that they had been assaulted, and requested help. Deputy Provost of Student Life and Learning Morton Mendelson came in shortly thereafter to speak with the occupiers. He left after about 15 minutes without attempting to offer a deal, and the occupiers saw through a window the police enter another room. At 4:37, a protestor outside James Administration received a text message from an occupier warning that the police had been called. The occupiers sat down and formed a human chain. Provost Anthony Masi and Dr. Mendelson entered the room around 5:25, and offered legal amnesty for the occupiers, who demanded amnesty from disciplinary actions for any protesters outside and occupiers on other floors. Drs. Masi and Mendelson left, and returned later to negotiate with the occupiers. At 5:40 the occupiers left the James Administration Building through the back door, walking through a line of riot police cops. 3.2. JAMES ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, SECOND FLOOR Sources: Two accounts, public record Second Floor Occupation Timeline: [outside] ~4pm -- participating in chanting outside (Niko) 4:30 -- upon hearing a side door is open, 20-30 students rush in (McGill Daily) 4:58 -- one source called a fifth floor contact: By that point we were already--that was when we were in the vestibule after we had moved the occupation from the lobby into the vestibule. And when I spoke with him he said that they had been negotiating with administration for full amnesty and asked if the administration had offered us any similar kind of deal if we left; they hadnt, but I told him that we had pretty much agreed that we were going to leave as a group before the police came and arrested us [Anonymous interview #8, on our blog]. 5:17-- a source received a call shortly before they left the second floor. 5:25-- 5-15 minutes before they left. Yeah at 5:25 I texted saying that were all leaving, but that was actually before-- I thought we were leaving, but we actually had to leave for a while to speak to the police, by a while I mean maybe five, ten minutes--fifteen at the most. I was waiting to hear that they had successfully negotiated with the administration and that they were leaving before we left, but we didnt really have a chance to do that, yeah so we just went out [Anonymous interview #8, on our blog].

12 Hearing that the side door to the second floor lobby area was open, students rushed in around 4:30 to occupy in solidarity with the people on the fifth floor who we heard were being hurt (Anonymous); many were non-McGill francophone students, for a total of around twenty-five students sitting in the lobby. We cannot verify at this time how exactly the door was opened. A student present stresses that they allowed staff to leave if they wanted to. Several occupiers left, leaving about fifteen students, who moved into the vestibule and linked arms as a block; when asked to leave, they repeatedly asked for an official eviction notice (Anonymous Interview #8). One student described many francophone non-McGill students present, explaining that the group was mainly addressed in French. A person assumed to be a McGill employee gave them an official verbal eviction notice, but it was only around 5:30, with a police request, that students left the building. 3.3. JAMES ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, OUTSIDE Sources: 12 interviews, 14 submitted written accounts, public record Outside James Administration building Timeline: (more time-linked evidence available in accounts on our website) 4pm - large rally official estimated ending time at Roddick Gates 4:05-4:31- respondents make their way towards the James Administration building -Niko announces on megaphone that occupiers say they are being hurt inside the building human chain forms 4:37 - text is received from an occupier asking outside supporters to delay and block cops (Farid) Between 4:45 and 4:55 - cops on bicycles arrive, and soon engage with protesters (Anonymous outside protestor, and Francois Guertin Giroux) 4:56 A group of riot police entered campus and assembled at the Milton Gates (Francois Guertin Giroux) 5:02 - the riot police assembled in a line, and advanced towards the students (Sarah Gliech) 5:10 - a second wave of riot police approached from the Y-Intersection (McGill Daily) 6:00 - most protesters have been pushed out of James Square There are many very diverse experiences of and perspectives on the events outside the James Administration building. Many passersby and non-McGill-affiliated community members (eg in the Milton-Parc community) were also affected. The crowd was fed by the larger rally at the Roddick Gates as people entered campus from Univeristy St.. Upon the announcement that the fifth floor occupiers were being treated violently by security inside the building and rumours that police were on their way, bystanders began to form a human chain, linking arms around the building and blocking the entrances. When a group of police officers on bikes arrived from the Milton Gates at the main entrance to the James Administration building, demonstrators describe them as using their bikes as weapons to try to force themselves through the crowd. Several signs and objects were thrown at the police. The bike police then left campus back the way they came, and rows of riot police marched onto campus shortly thereafter through the Milton Gates. Riot Police also arrived from the Y-intersection. Through various policestudent encounters (described in detail in the written accounts received and interviews posted on our blog), students and passersby were violently forced off campus, mostly through Milton Gates. The police finally charged down Milton, forcing demonstrators and people walking to campus down side streets nearby. One student demonstrator recounts his experience in the police charge in a written account: After around 15 minutes, during which time most people were trying to recover from assault and chemical attacks by the police, the officers announced they would arrest anyone who remained on the street. They then charged down Milton beating their shields, forcing people down the street and up side streets. I was forced up Aylmer to Prince Arthur. The police remained on Prince Arthur, and me and

13 several others who had been charged at up Aylmer decided to go home. We'd been marching since 1pm, were soaking wet, and the temperature was rapidly dropping (Sheehan Moore, written account). People walking by were affected by the action as soon as it began. One professor interviewed (Dr. Greg Mikkelson) describes witnessing a student outside of the crowd who had earlier thrown a sign to the ground in frustration being tackled by three riot police officers. Dr. Mikkelson himself (who claims not to have been participating in the action, but standing nearby at a safe distance) was hit in the ribs with batons and pepper-sprayed. Lillian Radovac spoke about being corralled into McConnell Engineering with twenty or thirty others, while Danji Buck-Moore described watching protesters surrounded by police being pushed down the terraces of James Square as they raised their hands in peace signs as a form of non-violent resistance. Sarah Gliech echoed experiences others shared when she spoke of hiding in a McGill residence on Milton to avoid charging police. Others left their offices and found themselves in the fray, and even more people were unable to enter or exit buildings because of a lockdown. Meanwhile, some students sought assistance in the Students Society building on McTavish St., where first aid services soon began to be distributed (one student, screaming from pepper spray in her face, was assisted for an hour; Maggie Knight, public record: Senate minutes, 16 November 2011). 3.4. REACTIONS There have been varied reactions to the events of November 10th within the university community. During and immediately after the main protest/riot police action, many turned to social media to figure out what was going on, although video coverage was limited (with the exception of CKUTs interview with an occupier and several amateur YouTube videos). On Friday, 11 November, around 100 members of the university community rallied in front of the James building, attempting to deliver a letter to the Principal (McGill Daily, 12 November 2011). Many the students and faculty we spoke with emphasized the importance of the We Are All McGill event on Monday 14 November for their sense of safety and inclusivity on campus. A considerable list of available instances of campus and corporate media coverage, commentaries, reactions, community response actions, and official statements is available on our blog at independentstudentinquiry.blogspot.com 4. KEY FINDINGS The Final Report in January 2012 will contain a comprehensive record of the Inquirys findings. The findings thus far, however, indicate that: 4.1. SECURITY CONVEYED INCORRECT INFORMATION TO STUDENTS Throughout the night, Securitas agents and staff conveyed incorrect information to at least four different groups of students. In each case, the students were told that other groups had left the scene and returned home. At 4:56 pm, a non-occupying student in the James Administration building sent a text suggesting that students had assaulted a worker and that fifteen occupiers had been removed by the police. At that point in the night, the fifth floor occupiers were still in the building, and had had little to no contact with the police. In addition, no assault charges have been brought up against any occupiers.


Multiple protesters outside were told by Securitas agents at the front door to the James Building that the fifth floor occupiers were gone, despite the fact that they were still in the building (Crawford, Farid). Occupiers on the fifth floor allege that Provost Masi claimed that the second floor occupiers had already left the building even as they were negotiating the terms of their release (Anonymous Occupier), when they in fact were still in the building at that point. 4.2. MANY STUDENTS WERE UNAWARE OF THEIR RIGHTS Foreign students were unclear about their status, and the threat of deportation affected the decisions of several students interviewed. Some students were aware of the meaning of an official eviction notice when delivered to the second floor occupiers, but others did not know the legal weight such a declaration carried. Students on the second floor, unsure of what would happen if arrested, wrote a sympathetic lawyers phone number on their arms. Many students were unclear of the rights and responsibilities of McGill Securitas agents vis-a-vis students (e.g. whether security has the right to touch them, how much force they can use, whether they are required to share names and license numbers, etc.). Matthew Crawford, a fifth floor occupier and Arts Representatives on the McGill Senate, claimed that I went in there with the understanding that they [Security] had absolutely no right to touch us; they did. I was under the impression that they would have to give their names and license numbers; when we asked them, they did not--one said Youll have to talk to my boss about that. (7:38, Crawford). It was not clear what was public and what was private space on campus Some outside were surprised by the polices right to remove students from campus, while others debated the public vs. private nature of the fifth floor offices. 4.3. MCGILL SECURITY LOCKDOWN CONTRIBUTED TO POLICE KETTLING McGill Security agents blocked access to Dawson Hall Annex, trapping bystanders and protesters in James Square (Anonymous). 4.4. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF PHYSICAL ASSAULT BY THE FIFTH FLOOR OCCUPIERS We have found no evidence of instances of physical assault on the part of the occupiers toward the staff, nor have we found substantive first-person allegations of assault on their part. We have not, however, received testimony from office workers who were there on that day despite our best attempts. 4.5. PROTESTER-POLICE COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS CONTRIBUTED TO CONFUSION Protester-police communication problems were consistently cited as contributing to the confusion outside: Several informants who were present outside described French/English translation issues. There are several instances of students asking for English translations from French which were never given, and several bilingual students testified that they translated from French for others around them. A second

15 floor occupier noted that monolingual anglophones were left unaware of negotiation proceedings with police, staff, and security. Informants heard no directions or warnings from police before confrontations, including instances of pepper-spray use and physical force (Mikkelson). Police instructions were unclear for many protesters and bystanders outside as to where they could safely exit the area. 4.6. A STUDENT CALLED THE POLICE, BUT ONLY AFTER POLICE HAD ALREADY ARRIVED A student called the police at 4:45 to report McGill Security for assault; however, it is clear from other informants that the police had already been called from inside the James Administration building. 4.7. MCGILL STAFF AND SECURITY VERBALLY TAUNTED PROTESTERS AND OCCUPIERS Verbal taunts on the part of McGill staff and security toward occupiers, as well as by police toward protesters and observers outside, were reported by many, including the use of profanities. This was cited as contributing to many students impressions of the administrations attitude toward them as condescending. 4.8. MCGILL ATTENTION! SYSTEM WAS NOT EMPLOYED The majority of our informants felt that the McGill Attention! emergency alert system could have prevented bystander casualties (see interviewee recommendations, section 5). 4.9. DISCIPLINARY ACCUSATIONS TOWARDS UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS CREATED A FEAR OF REPRISALS FROM THE UNIVERSITY Erroneous disciplinary accusations towards several undergraduate students surrounding a MUNACA support teach-in at the Y-intersection on 11 October contributed to some students impressions of how the University conducts disciplinary proceedings, and a fear of reprisals from University. 4.10. MCGILL SECURITY CALLED THE POLICE Principal Heather Munroe-Blums Message to the McGill Community on 11 November states that Security personnel called the Montreal police; we have no evidence to refute her statements. Video released by the fifth floor occupiers shows a woman threatening to call the police; this, along with the evidence that occupiers within the building knew about the police presence before those outside (see Chronology), suggests that the call came from inside the James Administration building. 5. EFFECTS ON THE COMMUNITY One of our teams goals was to document the non-physical effects of the events of November 10th, including psychological and emotional effects as well as possible trauma. Compiled from all our accounts and the public record, many involved in the events from many perspectives described their emotions as surprised, scared, taken aback, shocked, shaken...that people had been hurt by Security, tense, traumatic...seeing so much unnecessary violence, betrayed by administration, by security, by police [who are] supposed to have a nominal commitment to my wellbeing, among others.

16 To our question, Do you feel differently on campus now?, many agreed that they now feel differently about the space around James Administration Building and the Milton Gates, about the campus space and community as a whole, about securitys and polices opinions and potential actions toward them, and about peers support or opinions of their actions. A significant number also cited the 14 Novembers We are all McGill event as important for them in reclaiming a space where they had been previously traumatized. Some added that the recent high security presence on campus relating to the MUNACA strike contributed to student sentiments about safety and the semesters over-securitization of the campus. To the question, What do you think were the police/Security/the administrations attitude toward you/students?, responses included contempt, condescendion, anger, and forceful. In the public record, many students have stated a concern that the University thinks of them as a liability, problem, or even as a threat to be contained (Crawford), rather than as an asset to the community (eg Senate, 16 November). Several respondents also described their experiences as genderedone female student expressed their particular experience as a female being surrounded by large, armed strange men as especially traumatic.14 Evidence of the emotional effects according to our respondents can be found in the full transcripts and audio recordings of interviews available on our website (independentstudentinquiry.blogspot.com). We are also further interested in investigating the effects of the police charge down Milton on the Milton-Parc community, as well as corroborating reports of students in the Diocesan College first-year residence near the Milton Gates sensing tear gas in their kitchen. 6. RECOMMENDATIONS As the Inquiry is still in the process of collecting information, the authors have agreed not to publish any recommendations of our own in this Preliminary Report. Information is still incomplete, and the Inquiry hesitates to come down on any position without the full and complete understanding of events that is expected to emerge in the final report of January 2012. We instead offer an overview of the recommendations and opinions offered by respondents, who spoke to the next steps for students, staff, and administrators, offered commentary on the dormancy of the McGill Attention system, and opined on the Independent Student Investigation and its methodology. All interviews and written accounts used to write these recommendations are available for perusal on our website. 6.1. VIEWS OF THE OCCUPATION OF THE JAMES ADMINISTRATION BUILDINGS FIFTH FLOOR


It is important to note here as well that members of the community have also been reacting negatively to Provost Masis characterization [in his 16 November remarks to Senate on the events] of the staff on the fifth floor at the time of the occupation as a use of victimizing gendered narratives, emphasizing that they were women and crying. (e.g. see McGill Daily Commentary from 28 November 2011; eg Gender, Sexual Diversity, and Feminist Studies Students Associations letter).

17 Many interviewees expressed the opinion that occupation of a space as a form of protest is traditional, some citing precedent cases of occupation by family members, and were therefore not surprised that it was used as a means of student protest at McGill University. Support for the occupation of November 10th seems to be more divided. None of our interviewees expressed concrete disapproval of the occuption, although one respondent did feel that the occupation, after a peaceful march of 30,000 students, was an unnecessary move. Many did not know an occupation was taking place when they were caught in the police confrontation in front of James building. Some interviewees questioned whether an act of occupation is inherently aggressive and reference was made to the occupation being a metaphorical violence. Most interviewees expressed their trust that the occupation was indeed conducted non-violently by the occupiers. 6.2. VIEWS ON MCGILL SECURITYS RESPONSE Throughout the responses, a common theme was a strong sense of disapproval and disappointment at McGill securitys response for a wide range of reasons. Some of the criticisms put forwards by our interviewees include: Physical violence on behalf of McGill security towards the occupiers was characterized as unacceptable by many respondents. One occupier expressed the view that McGill security had no right to touch students, which they did, and that they must give their name and license number when asked, which they did not. McGill security was deemed by many informants to have overstepped their boundaries on 10 November. Respondents believed that security on the ground floor of the James building did not respond to concerns about the well-being of occupiers on the fifth floor and in some cases openly made false statements towards students. As a result, students felt alienated, ignored and manipulated. Many students accused McGill security (as well as the SPVM) of being there to protect the administration but not the students. Respondents were of the mind that the lockdown was ill-advised. Exits to buildings were locked without the knowledge of the people inside, which in some cases trapped community members in stairwells and created a potential safety hazard. Furthermore, there was no consistency in instructions given by security as to how to proceed in this lockdown. Many accounts express the view that had protesters not been present outside of the James building and in communication with the fifth floor occupiers, the occupiers would have been treated worse than they were and possibly arrested. A few interviewees expressed concern about the securitization of campus this year, which they view as sinister, unnecessary and deleterious to a sense of well-being and community on campus. 6.3. VIEWS OF THE SERVICE DE POLICE DE LA VILLE DE MONTRAL In the accounts we have received there was a loud and unanimous outcry against the presence of police, especially riot cops, on campus and their use of force, which was seen as an example of police brutality. That such a thing as police brutality should have occurred on our campus is seen as a source of sorrow, shame and anger.

18 Many interviewees strongly believe that the occupation and the demonstration outside the James building could have been dealt with without the involvement on the Montreal Police. Many interviewees expressed the desire to have a formal apology from the Montreal Police. Many interviewees described their experience as being in a war zone. They expressed the belief that students were treated as a problem to be removed by force, and felt that the lack of concern for students is disturbing. Many bystanders were pulled into the police confrontation and suffered physical harm and mental shock as a result. Some of these bystanders expressed dismay that they were confronted and in some cases manhandled for having done nothing. Many accounts suggest that freedom of expression and freedom of association were challenged on November 10th by the police. There were communication problems due to language barriers that night that left many community members unable to adequately follow directions, exposing them to further violence, and in many cases police officers refused to give orders in English. 6.4. VIEWS ON THE MCGILL ADMINISTRATION There was an overarching feeling of dissatisfaction with the administrations response to the events of police brutality on campus and McGill securitys response to the occupation. Many accounts criticised the administration for its slow response to the events of November 10th as well as its seeming lack of recognition of the seriousness of police brutality on campus. Many interviewees expressed the desire to have a formal apology issued by the McGill administration. Many interviewees expressed scepticism with the inquiry being conducted by the Dean of Law, Doctor Daniel Jutras. Most question the effectiveness of an internal investigation. Our interviewees had two main suggestions: firstly, that an external investigation should be conducted by a third party uninvolved with events on campus and secondly, that if an internal inquiry must be chosen over an external one, that it should be conducted in a way that accords an equal voice to administration, faculty, staff and students. 6.5. VIEWS ON MCGILLS EMERGENCY RESPONSE SYSTEM Many accounts express frustration that the McGill Attention emergency response texting system was not used, especially since this may have reduced the number of bystanders caught in the police confrontation. However, this was not a unanimous view; there was some distrust of the emergency texting system, and several community members were unaware that such a system existed. 6.6. AWARENESS OF MEDICAL SUPPORT SERVICES Most interviewees were not aware of any medical support system during or immediately following the confrontation with the police. This is particularly worrying since students were pepper sprayed and beaten and did not know where to go to seek medical attention. The SSMU ended up taking care of many students needs for first aid and a warm, supportive safe space.

19 6.7. SUGGESTIONS FROM RESPONDENTS REGARDING PROCEDURE AND METHODOLOGY We were told to cast as wide a net as possible: respondents instructed us to contact as many administration members, campus security officers, office staff, faculty, bystanders, protesters, officers present and who made decisions, and occupiers as we could. Others hoped we would tour the James Administration building, as well as to access police logs, records of phone calls sent and received from the James Building, and video shot by police and Securitas agents. We were instructed to look at the historical and recent context for the events, and to examine the rights of students in these situations. There were varying suggestions regarding the kinds of judgment we could/should make in our report and how much to fit this in global contexts (and where); our team has decided to make decisions about how previous policies were fulfilled and if violence from Security was mandated in the given situations, and the future effects this could have at McGill, only in the final report, and not in this preliminary document. Some of these suggestions made it into the preliminary report, and most of them will hopefully make it into the final report.

7. NEXT STEPS AND CONCERNS The Independent Student Inquiry is continuing to pursue other information. We will continue to search out more - and more varied - testimonials and interviews. The Access to Information Acts we submitted prior to the Preliminary Report are still pending, and we are further excited to read Dean of Law Daniel Jutras report. The Inquiry contacted many people throughout the course of our preliminary investigation. We emailed and spoke to Principal and Vice-Chancellor Monroe-Blum, who declined our request for an interview [in her live webcast of 29 Nov 2011]. We emailed Dean Jutras, and suggested other avenues of investigation. We emailed or called every member of the Administration, all of the staff members who put their name on the open letter in the McGill Daily entitled We, too, are McGill (19 November), and staff working in Media Relations and Safety, all of whom declined to testify to us. We sincerely hope that every member of the McGill community with a perspective on the events of November 10th feels comfortable speaking to us, and we will continue to seek more stories from administration and staff. We deeply regret the dearth of administration perspectives in our Preliminary Report, and hope to amend this in our final report in January 2012. We filed six Access to Information requests with the Service de police de la Ville de Montral, and five requests with McGill University. The full text of our requests can be found in appendix. The information requested could potentially cast new light on the narratives currently circulating on campus. As per our mandate, we will make public all of the documents we receive. These requests were mailed or hand-delivered on Friday, November 25th. Both the SPVM and McGill University have a period of twenty business days from receipt to respond; both parties can extend this by ten days if necessary. If after thirty days no reply is received, the request is implicitly refused. With the receipt of the documents or their refusal, we can file for a review. When author Christopher Bangs delivered the requests to McGill University, he was told by a staff member that the labour dispute with MUNACA would substantially delay the response. We will investigate what legal means we have to get a timely response.

20 Finally, Dean Jutras report will be of particular interest to the Inquiry. Many of the administrators and staff who refused to testify mentioned that they had already seen the Dean, while many of the students and faculty who spoke with us mentioned that they would not participate in the Deans investigation. The Dean has access to our public website, and all of the testimonials posted there, and we hope he will examine them to supplement his report. Whether he does or not, his investigation, and its results, will be an important resource for our final report. 8. APPENDICES/INTERVIEW LISTS 8.1. CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT PRESENTED TO TESTIFIERS INTERVIEW ANONYMITY STATEMENT--The Independent Student Inquiry/LEnqute tudiante Indpendante: Nov. 2011 MISSION STATEMENT: The Independent Student Inquiry was formed to investigate the events of November 10th that left many members of the McGill community shocked, frustrated, and confused. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the official investigation, we have been tasked with carrying out a parallel inquiry. The inquiry will collect testimony from affected groups, review photographic and video evidence, and work to gather as much information as possible, making it all public. We will release a preliminary report on December 1st, and a final report in January. All interested community members are encouraged to take part. LEnqute tudiante Indpendante a t cre pour investiguer les vnements du 10 novembre qui ont laisss les membres de la communaut de McGill choqus, frustrs et confus. Vu lincertitude qui accompagne linvestigation officielle, nous avons t chargs dentreprendre une enqute parallle dsintresse. Cette enqute rassemblera les tmoignages des groups affects, elle examinera les preuves photographiques et audiovisuelles, et elle runira autant dinformation possible, tout en le rendant accessible au publique. Nous publierons un rapport prliminaire le 1 dcembre et un rapport final en janvier. Tout membre de la communaut est encourag de nous joindre ou de nous aider. CONFIDENTIALITY: The following people are the only people who will see your email correspondence with independentstudentinquiry@gmail.com and know your name if you want maximum confidentiality: 1. Allison Cooper allisonmariecooper@gmail.com 2. Chris Bangs christopher.bangs@mail.mcgill.ca 3. Matt Dowling dowling.matt.g@gmail.com 4. Mark Phillips mark.phillips2@mail.mcgill.ca As well as any interviewer present for your interview. Thanks!! Interviewer(s): independentstudentinquiry.blogspot.com______________________________________________ Interview date: Name of interviewee: Can we record your interview? Y / N Can we post the audio recording to our blog? Y / N with your name attached? Y / N can we share it amongst our investigation team to share transcribing work? Y / N Can we post a transcript to our blog? Y / N with your name attached? Y / N Can we use quotes from your interview in the final report? Y / N

21 with your name attached? Y / N OR: Should we send the audio and transcript to you to decide first? Y / N your email address: ________________________________________ Other notes/comments:

8.2. ACCESS TO INFORMATION REQUEST SUBMITTED TO MCGILL UNIVERSITY Ville, date : Nom du responsable de laccs OBJET : Demande daccs des documents Madame, Monsieur, En vertu de l'article 9 de la Loi sur l'accs aux documents des organismes publics et sur la protection des renseignements personnels, je dsire obtenir copie du ou des document(s) suivant(s) : - un compte rendu de tous les appelles envoyes et recus du batiment james administration entre 15:00 et 19:00 le 10 novembre - tous les archives de communication intra-universitaire concernant les protagonistes de loccupation et des manifestations du 10 novembre 2011 au 26 novembre 2011 (inclus). - compte rendu de la compagnie Securitas concernant loccupation du btiment dadministration James et/ou la manifestation dans James square le 10 novembre 2011 - compte rendu des services de scurit de McGill concernant loccupation du btiment dadministration James et/ou la manifestation dans James square le 10 novembre 2011 - tous les enregistrements audiovisuels pris le 10 novembre 2011 dans ou dehors le btiment administratif James, le square James, la rue Milton, le btiment Ferrier, le btiment Dawson, le btiment dingnierie McConnell, le btiment Wilson et la rsidence University Hall. - - Compte rendu crit des appelles et des messages textes envoys et reus le 10 Novembre 2011 de 15h 19h tous les tlphones (cellulaire inclut) de la principale et vice-chancelire Heather Monroe-Blum pays par luniversit de McGill et lheure laquelle ils ont t envoys/reus. Vous en remerciant lavance, je vous prie dagrer (Madame, Monsieur) mes salutations distingues. Signature : Nom, prnom :



25 November, 2011 OBJET : Demande daccs des documents Madame, Monsieur, En vertu de l'article 9 de la Loi sur l'accs aux documents des organismes publics et sur la protection des renseignements personnels, je dsire obtenir copie du ou des document(s) suivant(s) : - compte rendu crit ou audio des appels 911 en provenance de lUniversit de McGill ou ayant comme objet la manifestation et loccupation du btiment dadministration James du 10 novembre 2011 - compte rendu crit ou enregistrement audio des communications entre membres de la police concernant les vnements qui ont eu lieu sur le campus de McGill ou entre les rues le 10 novembre 2011 - une description exhaustive des moyens de contrles physique utilise par la police de Montral sur le campus de McGill dploys le 10 novembre 2011 - compte rendu de la quantit de gaz lacrymogne, poivre de Cayenne ou grenades aveuglantes ou toute autre arme utilis par la police de Montral sur le campus de McGill le 10 novembre 2011 - compte rendu des arrestations qui ont eu lieu sur le campus de McGill et entre les rues de Maisonneuve, Peel, Prince Arthur et Parc, du 10 novembre 2011 Vous en remerciant lavance, je vous prie dagrer (Madame, Monsieur) mes salutations distingues.

8.4. EMAIL TO SOCIT DE POLICE DE LA VILLE DE MONTRAL (SPVM) 24 November 2011; no response as of 1 Dec 2011. Bonjour Sgt. LaFrenire, Nous sommes lEnqute tudiante Indpendente de l'Universit de McGill. Nous essayons de crer une enqute comprehensive au sujet des evnements du 10 Novembre, 2011, sur le campus de McGill et dans la communaut Milton-Parc. Nous vous demandons si vous pouvez nous donner votre commentaire sur ces vnements et sur l'utilisation de la force par la police et les vnements qui ont pris place avant lutilisation de la force. Nous cherchons aussi quelques informations pour rendre notre enqute plus complte. Est-ce possible davoir accs aux suivants ou a quelques-un de suivants: -Les rapports darrestation qui on pris place a McGill -Les rapports ou les notes de la pars des officiers impliqu dans les evenements sur le campus de McGill University -Lappel de McGill a la SPVM le 10 Novembre 2011 -Les noms des officiers en charge de lintervention sur le campus de McGill le 10 November 2011


-Le montant de poivre et de gaz lacrymogne utiliss le 10 November 2011 -Quand (dans quelles situations) peuvent la police utiliser la force? Nous essayons de crer une comprhension totale des vnements, alors tout commentaire seraient apprecie. Merci a vous et bonne journe, Hannah Rackow

8.5. LIST OF RESPONDENTS/SOURCES We regret not having transcripts of the proceedings cited at McGill Senate on 16 November (eg accounts from Senator Maggie Knight, Senator Tom Acker, and read by Senator Emily Yee Clare), but the video is available online: http://bcooltv.mcgill.ca/Viewer1/?EventID=201111160656 8.6. LIST OF INTERVIEWS: 15 November 2011: Aidan Drake (outside) Sarah Gliech (outside) Nathaniel Laywine (outside) 16 November 2011: Farid (outside) Anonymous (outside) 17 November 2011: Lilian Radovac (outside) 18 November 2011: Anonymous (fifth floor) Anonymous (first floor) Matt Crawford (fifth floor) Anonymous (outside) 21 November 2011: Zoe (outside) Anonymous (fifth floor) 22 November 2011: Anonymous (fifth floor) Danji Buck-Moore (outside) 23 November 2011: Lily Schwarzbaum (outside) 24 November 2011: Ethan Kyle Feldman (fifth floor) Niko Block (first floor) 25 November 2011: Adrienne Hurley (outside) 29 November 2011: Greg Mikkelson (outside) 8.7. LIST OF WRITTEN ACCOUNTS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE:

24 independentstudentinquiry.blogspot.com Sheehan Moore Allison Cooper Sarah Gliech Melanie Benard Professor in the Faculty of Arts Jonathan Wald Matthew Henry Franois Guertin Giroux 8.8. ORIGINAL LETTER TO DEAN JUSTRAS RE: HIS INVESTIGATION Dear Dean Jutras, We write to you as the Independent Student Inquiry, a group of McGill students charged with conducting an investigation of the events of 10 November at McGills downtown campus. We are in the process of interviewing McGill community members to establish a basic chronology of the night, to evaluate the events impact on those affected, and to ascertain how community members now feel about what transpired. Understandably, we are very interested in the progress of your investigation. Would you be interested in meeting to discuss your methodology and how you plan to go forward? There are also some specific pieces of information that we call on you to seek out. First, we are curious to hear the police departments recording of the call from McGill University on November 10th requesting riot police assistance. Second, we are under the impression that the McGill Security Service filmed the students who occupied the James Administration. We hope that you will watch it. Third, it stands to reason that if a security personnel were to call the police department without seeking approval from the administration, as the Principal stated in her letter to the McGill community, there would be some official response or repercussion. We hope to meet at your earliest convenience to discuss these and other issues surrounding your inquiry into the events of November 10th. Sincerely, Allison Cooper Christopher Bangs Mark Philips Matt Dowling