MONDAY: Students Harassed, Videotaped and Struck by Security at Concordia in Backlash against Strike

This morning in the Faubourg building.

7 security personnel videotaping 4 students. Two of these students were women.

No students had been blocked from class

No professor had been blocked from class

Total undue harassment and intimidation instigated by administration. One student was struck by a security officer.

Video footage to follow.

The acting chair of the Geography Department- Judith Patterson- watched on while these acts of intimidation played out, and did not attempt to deescalate the situation, but rather pulled out her own camera to photograph students.

I am absolutely disgusted with what happened this morning, I am humiliated that the acting chair of my own department would condone this. I am deeply ashamed of Concordia University, and that this was carried out in the name of ‘protecting students’.

This is blatant prosecution of peaceful students on the basis of assumed political convictions.

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46 Responses to MONDAY: Students Harassed, Videotaped and Struck by Security at Concordia in Backlash against Strike

  1. Heidi von Hoyningen Huene says:

    I must say that I am not for the strike, but this is totally wrong. Concordia has a duty to protect all students, not just those who want to go to class, but ALL of them. This new act of power is disgusting and shouldn’t be tolerated by any students.

  2. Ben Du says:

    Teachers definitely WERE blocked from entering class, and were following orders to call security if that was the case. Just sayin’.

    • geogging says:

      This was Alena Perout’s class, she was NOT blocked from entering class.

      • Ben Du says:

        So why was security called? Were protesters disrupting the class in any way?

      • allan says:

        If she was not blocked from entering class then why didnt class occur as scheduled, rather she opted to answer questions in the geo lab(12fl hall) which is what she has done consistently when blocked form entering class?

      • Anonymous says:

        If security was called then something was happening… may it be disruption, or blocking they didn’t go for fun (from what i can tell the security guards to enjoy doing these things when they could just sit behind their desk chatting it up). Also, I am curious, what was the gender of the other two students? I mean it was made quite clear 2 were female, but the others?

    • Iman says:

      Last I checked it would take a lot more than 4 students to block the teacher from entering the class especially since most of the rooms have at least 2 entrances, sometimes 4 of them which means you would have to sidestep at most 2 people… The students in the class likely outnumbered the students outside the class peacefully protesting.

      Even if the teacher was being blocked from class, should a student be STRUCK by a guard? Are you saying it’s okay for security to go around and beat people for breaking rules? I’m assuming you are also all for police brutality with that mindset.

    • Mandela says:

      Following orders?

  3. Travis Ahearn, MSc Candidate and TA, Geography, Planning & Environment says:

    A bit of an aside….There are 50% women at Concordia, and probably more involved in the strike especially in the leadership of the student movement ….so what is the relevance of mentioning that two were women? Also, the two comments to this show the polarisation that has occurred. One says she was blocked, and another says that Alena wasn’t blocked. Which is it? Thanks.

    • Lula says:

      she showed up, saw the picketers (4 students), turned around and left, no words exchanged. so technically, no one attempted to enter, and no one was denied access to the classroom. if she had gone down the stairs and tried to get in, that would perhaps be a different situation. security and patterson arrived after prof. and students had left. ‘reinforcements’ (students) showed up in support, and were filmed and photographed as well. also more security came. security were asked for i.d. and did not provide it (i think one did perhaps), when called on that by a student, one said “Well, then we’re all in violation of something!”. lets cut the hoopla and go for a coffee! sit down with charest and tell him his budget is full of shite. get admin off our backs, we are acting under a mandate voted in by the student body, under democratically elected csu. as a legal entity, as i am learning, this trumps university’s internal institutional guidelines.

  4. Travis Ahearn, MSc Candidate and TA, Geography, Planning & Environment says:

    ….and not an aside…..this is horrible.

  5. Frederick Lowy says:

    @Ben Du. I was not blocking a class this morning, just talking with the teacher and a student called security for no apparent reason. Just sayin’


  6. Clara Coblab says:

    I simply can not believe Concordia’s actions.

  7. Frederick Lowy says:

    – –

  8. Paul Kemp says:

    Let’s see this video footage then. I’ll believe it when I see it. One of my classes was blocked today too. Security and Patterson showed up, the protesters were asked to step aside. They refused at first but eventually digressed and class happened as scheduled without further incident. Let’s see the video!!!

  9. allan says:

    also just to point out, at not time during the strike were teachers actually being physically restrained from entering class, hence the soft picket lines, Hard picket lines were never supported or by either GUSS or CSU. Profs did not cross picket lines due to their own volition, they could have entered class at any point. Most simply turn around at the sight of picket lines. So NO prof Perout was not physically blocked from class, but she was still prevented from teaching, a distinction that should be made. Also, while i do not condone students being assaulted by security personal, we have not been provided with the full story, as such we should suspend judgement until the video is made available (struck is a very loose term)

  10. David Timerman says:

    The strikers think they are facing off against Ghadafi. Rather they are facing off against their fellow students, and professor who couldn’t be kinder people – especially in geography. Furthermore the security personnel for the most part are wonderfully kind and just doing their job.

  11. David Timerman says:


  12. David Timerman says:

    I looked up the “Private security act”. The legislation clearly states that agents must identify themselves to the inspector appointed by the bureau. I cannot find the text cited in the video

    • Spiderman says:

      For all you hard ass strikers read point #3 and get with the program
      Effective Date: September 23, 2002 Originating Office: Office of the Vice-President, Services Supersedes /Amends: VRS-20/February 8, 1999 Policy Number: VPS-20

      This policy applies to all employees, students and visitors of the University.

      Access to University Premises

      1.No unauthorized person shall prevent access to or egress from University property to anyone who has a right to such access or egress for legitimate purposes.

      2. No unauthorized person shall interrupt any authorized activity or event or prevent any legitimate movement of persons.

      3. Employees and students should carry identification cards at all times. Security personnel have the right to request the presentation of identification cards from anyone on University premises and may deny access to or require that any person unable to produce an identity card leave certain University premises.

  13. Someone says:

    laith marouf?
    i thought that name sounded familiar. a simple google search confirmed my suspicion.
    holy shit you are still a student at concordia??? how long has it been… 10 years?
    No surprise you are protesting tuition hikes lol

  14. David Timerman says:

    Ok here is the act:

    Here is the regulation

    The wording is ambiguous so I am still not certain if they are required to identify themselves to any individual.

    • Travis says:

      Well it does say that in #2, but doesn’t specify to whom, which is annoying, and I didn’t read the PSA act. #6 was definitely breached by the one guard. Overall security guards tend to be subdued individuals…I’m assuming because of these guidelines. Really, that one guard really should reassess what the hell he is doing as a security guard. I would not have called this a ‘high-tension’ situation…at least not enough for him to do what he seems to have done. Thanks for posting the link.

  15. TimeToGrowUp says:

    Wow. This video was completely silly. Is this what you or your parents paid you to do? Just go to your goddamn class and let people go to class. You wanna be on strike, stay at home and don’t go to class or voice your opinion(s) in a manner that does not infringe on anyone’s right or freedom. I pay 21,000 dollars a year to go to class. Please do not forget that the strikes merely constitute a minority not just within Concordia Undergrads, but within each of the departments themselves that have voted for this strike. Silly people you are. This is not to say that I do not support or respect the strike, I just simply support justice. Preventing senior educators from educating their pupils is not just right, it is extremely rude. How do you picketers have the audacity to do this? Don’t you see? The professors and students have nothing to do with tuition increasing!!

    • TP OK says:

      I agree with you TTGU… I pay $40,000 a year to go to school, and I also support “justice”. Everyone should have to be in as much debt as I am in. My long-term plan is to allow the tuition hike to go up to $100,000 a year, at which point I will complain to my friends about how “un-just” it is. But until that happens, I plan to sit back and enjoy apathy.

    • APasserBy says:

      You really don’t believe in standing up for what you believe in, do you? I find it cute that you’re careful to say that you ‘do not support or respect the strike’ and yet these people fighting for what they believe in, taking some pretty big risks not even for themselves but for the FUTURE of the education system, are ‘silly people’? Please choose your words more carefully less you may offend someone. Audacity is not the issue here, I think it’s more an issue of apathy,,,

  16. JMSBforEVER says:

    Wtf is tuitition hikes man wtf fukin hipsters im an international studen dont give a fuk about quebec its shit man only thin i luv here is bitches fuk off man go back to classs and stop spending for ur phones fukers!! fuk tha strike JMSB brapbrapbrap

  17. Jean Charest says:

    Apparently the girl isn’t a student at Concordia. Which would explain why she didn’t want to show any ID. She was trespassing, plain and simple. And then she dropped her camera. Not to mention she has one of the most annoying voices on earth.

    • allan says:

      can you provide evidence to support the statement that she is not a concordia student?

    • Travis says:

      The Faubourg is not Concordia. I understand that there was a mix of Concordia security and Private security hired by the Faubourg. For the most part security did seem to cooperate to a certain extent, except for one guy who flew off the handle. I don’t know why they’re worried about providing their names, since they already had, apparently. Hopefully the short-fused one will be severely reprimanded, since this might be one of the more serious events he might have to deal with. He should probably get another job. I just don’t see anyone getting hit here…Just someone losing their temper with a camera, which demonstrates a lack of judgement and restraint required of someone in that field of work. With all the video that is out there, hopefully another video will pop up to provide a clearer picture.

      • Jess Glavina says:

        If I may clarify for those viewing this thread unfamiliar with the Faubourg: the Faubourg is a downtown building on St Catherine in which Concordia University conducts classes and has classroom space. There are also businesses which use other parts of the building.

        As this incident took place in the part of the Faubourg where Concordia holds classes, the Faubourg in this instance IS Concordia. I spoke to security shortly after the incident, and can confirm that this was NOT a mix of Concordia security and Faubourg security. These were private security officers hired by Concordia to police Concordia University. They were hired for a weekly contract, ostensibly because Concordia Admin hopes to crush student dissent by the end of the week.

        Perhaps we can keep in mind as students that admin is the one spending our tuition on policing peaceful protest on our campus and enforcing policy that contributes to a tense atmosphere of intimidation, increasing potential for conflict. Security are generally just regular folk working to get by. ConU admin are the ones who hired them and are instructing them to patrol our school like thugs and videotape students to punish political dissent. (Though violent security should absolutely be held accountable for their actions)

      • Travis says:

        Thanks Jess. That does clarify it. I felt the need to respond to the ‘trespassing’ argument. She can act as a citizen as well, especially in public space!

  18. Nick says:

    What a load of bs.

    He never assaulted her. She dropped her camera when he pushed it.

    He obviously shouldn’t of done that but he did not assault her.

  19. This is really disappointing and I hope this video, and other taken today that document the intimidation tactics being taken by these private rent-a-guards, make their way into the national media. I think that Concordia needs to release a statement of apology to the girl who had her phone smacked out of her hands. I think it is time that they realize that these problems are political and class based and that simply ”throwing more guards on it’ is not an effective means of bring stability back to the halls of the school.

  20. Tired of Power Trippers says:

    Why did Judith Patterson refuse to meet with students today to dialogue? Too busy intimidating students and pushing around pt faculty?

    Hate to say it, but I almost wish Greene was back. At least he had this little gem:

    “The second principle involves collective political action based on the vote of democratic assembles… the round of voting by the three groups this week shows that support for the tactic remains very strong. In short, the students of GPE have a democratic legitimacy for their actions that was lacking before. That is, I have no choice but to accept that the tactic of stopping classroom instruction represents the collective, and thoroughly discussed, decision of our students… ”

  21. Meghan says:

    She wasn’t a Concordia student. I’m not saying either party was right or wrong, but she was definitely pushing the buttons of a security guard for a school she never went to… which explains why she wouldn’t want to give her name or show a Concordia ID to the guards.

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