Statue of Joseph-Henri Tabaret at University of Ottawa has been vandalized

Statue of Joseph-Henri Tabaret. Image credit: X/@cpadam81

Ottawa/CMEDIA: The statue of Joseph-Henri Tabaret at the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) has reportedly been vandalized with red paint all over it, according to the picture  taken on Saturday. 

Right under the statue on the ground the word “colonizer” was transcribed.

Located directly across from the encampments, it is unclear if protesters have anything to do with it.

The Ottawa Police Service reportedly said that they were unaware of the incident.

Despite the school warning that it will not tolerate any inappropriate actions by the students, an encampment was launched earlier this month by a group of students at the university calling on the institution to cut financial ties with Israel.

A sit-in in front of uOttawa’s Tabaret Hall by the demonstrators has been held since earlier this month with organizers with posts on Social media by Integrity Not Spite Against Falastin (INSAF) while the Palestinian Students Association showed about a dozen tents being pitched along with tarps, sleeping bags and blankets.

Demonstrators have been holding a sit-in in front of uOttawa’s Tabaret Hall since Monday. Social media posts by organizers Integrity Not Spite Against Falastin (INSAF) and the Palestinian Students Association show about a dozen tents being pitched along with tarps, sleeping bags and blankets.

Organizers say they had been calling on the institution to cut financial ties with Israel, they escalated the demonstration from a sit-in to an encampment due to a lack of response from the university whle

“We have actually been waiting for a response from the administration for a few days now and we haven’t heard anything to those demands…We’re asking for full disclosure of the investment lists and as well as divesting from Zionist organizations, so the ones that are enabling the genocide of the Palestinian people actively right now,” INSAF president Sumayya Kheireddine reportedly said.

Encampment organizer Yara Mahmud had reportedly said that one of the main demands is for uOttawa staff to meet with protesters.

“As a first step, we would like to have an in-person meeting with them and kind of discuss their investments and as well as our demands and see if we can work something out,” Mahmud said. 

When Stéphanie Plante, the francophone councillor for Ward 12 Rideau-Vanier in Ottawa was informed of the incident, she didn’t comment. 

A French-born Roman Catholic Priest (1828-1886) Tabaret best known for his remarkable academic contribution to uOttawa, had served for nearly 30 years and is generally referred to as the builder of the university. 

One of the oldest monuments in Sandy Hill, his statue is “hidden today behind the conifers in front of Tabaret Hall,” reads uOttawa’s website.