Friday update on the James Building protest

Published: 10 February 2012

Message from Michael Di Grappa, Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)

I am writing (again) to update you on the status of the James Building occupation. A few minutes ago, we shut the washroom being used by the protestors on the sixth floor, as another measure to get them to leave of their own accord. We are maintaining access to drinking water and, as you may have read on Twitter or in the student media, the protestors found a way to get in some food, cigarettes and supplies last night. Although we have had reports of smoking in the offices, we have as yet had no fire alarms. Again, the protestors are free to leave at any time and have been told they can request medical assistance at any time. Another protestor left this morning, so there are now 10 left.

Most people who responded to my update last night are clearly frustrated that the administration has not as yet moved to end the occupation. We have heard that many of you want us to restore services offered out of the building and to allow the staff there to resume their work in their space. We also know many James Building staff are frustrated with the frequent disruptions over the last few months and some feel quite concerned, even scared, about what they see as the invasion of their private work space. We realize this protest is disruptive for many members of the community, and thank people for their patience. We are working very actively to end the situation, but are also taking steps to ensure that acts of civil disobedience on campus are conducted in a way that does not cause undue disruptions to university activities.

Again, if you are having trouble accessing services or people normally based in the James Building, please contact info.mcgill [at]  We regret the inconvenience and thank you again for your patience as we deal with this situation.


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