Alberta premier asking police watchdog to probe encampment clearing on campus

  • Canadian Press

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says her government will ask the province’s police watchdog to investigate how officers forcibly cleared out two pro−Palestinian protests on university campuses.

Smith says reports of potential injuries prompted the government to ask the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to make sure there was no unreasonable use of force.

Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley is calling for an investigation, saying the weekend decision to remove protesters and tents from the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton seemed over the top compared with the perceived threat.

Both University of Alberta and the University of Calgary called in police to clear the encampments within hours of tents going up.

The schools issued statements saying they respect free speech but overnight encampments violated trespassing rules and risked escalating into violence.

Protest organizers at the University of Alberta say the only threat of violence came from police, who were seen on social media videos advancing on demonstrators and swinging batons.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2024.

The Canadian Press