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TORONTO — Anaïs Bussières McNicoll, Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, made the following statement:

“On the evening of May 9, 2024 the Calgary police went to a peaceful encampment located on the University of Calgary’s campus as part of a student protest movement.

The Calgary police, dressed in riot gear, used shields, tear gas and flashbang explosives to disperse protesters. Some arrests were made, and it has been reported that, as a result of the police’s intervention, some individuals sustained injuries and were sent to the hospital.

“We strongly condemn the Calgary police’s excessive use of force towards what was a peaceful protest. No police force should abuse its powers to suppress free speech and shut down peaceful protests.

In absence of a threat to the physical safety of individuals, it was the police’s duty to respect protesters’ freedom of expression and freedom to protest. Strong protections for these fundamental freedoms are essential in our democracy.

That is particularly the case in the context of university campuses, where the free flow of speech, opinions and debate has been – and should continue to be – encouraged and protected. Supporting expressive freedom should not imply support for – or criticism of – the underlying cause or opinion being expressed.

We demand that a thorough and transparent investigation into the troubling actions of the Calgary police on the evening of May 9, 2024 be conducted without delay.”

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About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association
The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.Media Contact:
media@ccla.org

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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