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Man facing charges following disruption of University of Ottawa graduation ceremony

A 27-year-old man is facing charges after a security guard was pepper-sprayed during a University of Ottawa graduation ceremony, according to Ottawa police.

The university was holding graduation ceremonies all weekend at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa.

Police say on Sunday morning, “several individuals” disrupted the graduation ceremony.

“As the individuals were being removed, an individual used a pepper spray-type weapon on a security guard,” police said in a statement.

“Police located the individual in the area of Tabaret Hall and later arrested him when it was safe to do so.”

Tabaret Hall is located on the campus of the University of Ottawa. 

A 27-year-old man is facing charges of assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace, administering a noxious substance and mischief. Police did not release the individual’s name.

Video of the convocation ceremony on YouTube shows people briefly yelling to disrupt the speech by University of Ottawa President and Vice-Chancellor Jacques Fremont Sunday morning.

“You’ve shown no respect to your Palestinian students,” one person can be heard yelling during the speech, as some people applauded the protesters.

Fremont told the group, “You have been heard.  Your freedom of expression is important but the respect for everyone in this room is also important.”

“This is a special day for our graduates.”

A group of students have been holding a protest on the lawn of uOttawa’s Tabaret Hall since May 1, calling on the university to cut financial ties with Israel.

According to the University of Ottawa’s website, the Telfer School of Management graduation ceremony was held on Sunday morning.

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