Union spox threatens U of Toronto prof over claims most Gaza camp protesters are not students

May 6, 2024 | Political News

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) spokesperson Vic Wojciechowska threatened University of Toronto business professor Kevin Bryan with “street-based consequences” after Bryan said most “student” Gaza camp protesters at the University of Toronto were neither students “nor affiliated with our University.”

“There need to be street-based consequences for clumsy buffoons like Kevin. I can confidently [say] that the encampment is predominantly students — students I PERSONALLY know & recognize. Kevin knows this & knows what he does as a spinner of dangerous yarns. Watch your back, Kevin,” Wojciechowska wrote on X.

As the National Post revealed, Wojciechowska is a former Antifa activist with multiple arrests for violent acts committed while protesting. The union swiftly took the lead in organizing anti-Israel demonstrations after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Bryan visited the protests last Thursday and spoke with the participants. He found the “majority of people I talked to are neither students nor affiliated with our university.” The professor documented his experience in a series of posts on X.

Bryan noted how protest leaders “explicitly said that if you don’t support the collective’s view on Palestine, you aren’t welcome and they will remove you. Actually, I was specifically told to leave now or ‘it would become more uncomfortable.'”

The professor noted that the protesters only seemed to be united in their belief that “all Zionists are evil” but that ideologically the group represented “a general mélange of far-left policy.”

Bryan reiterated his assessment of the pro-Palestinian crowd in a recent X post:

“Followup for people saying ‘how do I know that many of U of T camp gang weren't students, but just older left folks’? Just look at the ages of the people in video (not mine) today, holding the ‘Red Review' socialist mag. Of course, students too! But not just ‘student protest.'”

In a May 2 post on X, CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Ontario encouraged people to ignore the university’s promise to have protesters removed by police and denied that the protests were occurring on private property, making the claim that it was “stolen land.”

“This morning [the protesters] received a letter from the University of Toronto administration stating that they are not allowed to protest after 10PM, creating a pretext for potentially shutting down the encampment. We fully reject the administration’s attempt to deny them their constitutional right to peaceful assembly.”

“U of T would rather threaten involving law enforcement than address the calls for divestment from companies funding an active genocide — a stance that reveals the colonial core of its character. Administration says they are protesting on private property, a claim we reject entirely. They are protesting on stolen land.”

“The people united will never be defeated.”

CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn, who represents almost 300,000 provincial civil service workers, was front and center at the protest Thursday, shaking hands and having pictures taken with the activists. 

Lawyer and political satirist Caryma Sa’d captured this footage:

CUPE Ontario also encouraged its members to demonstrate outside of the U.S. consulate in Toronto on Saturday. There was a protest organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, which lauded the Oct. 7 Hamas killings, and supports the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated by Canada as a terrorist group.

Hahn was quick to celebrate Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack against Israel, prompting outrage among many in his own union.