An anonymous threat posted on blogTO, a Toronto food and lifestyle website, a few days ago has caused major worry at University of Toronto. The posting written by someone with the handle “Kill Feminists” threatened to shoot women in the university’s women’s studies department.
Although the posting has since been deleted, Toronto and Peel police are investigating.
On Thursday, the university sent out an e-mail informing students, staff and faculty that it had increased the presence of campus police in response to an anonymous threat. The e-mail did not go into specific details of the threat.
A follow up email was sent from the President of the CUPE 3902 Union,
From the Chair of the Local:
As many of you will know from the Provost’s earlier message, public threats have been received at the University of Toronto. We can add the detail that these were gendered threats made specifically toward women and feminists. We can also add that the threats specifically encourage violence and target our members in their workplaces. Specifically mentioned are those working in Sociology and Women’s Studies classrooms. The wording and content of the threats are beyond abhorrent and will not be reproduced here. All members, but especially those who identify as women and those who work in the named Departments, should be aware and careful, and of course all of us should look out for one another.
As your Union, it is our job to remind you that you have the legal right to refuse unsafe work. You do not have to enter a work situation in which you have reason to believe your safety or the safety of others may be at risk. Contact the Union if you intend to refuse work on the grounds that it is unsafe. You will have our full and unconditional support.
At times like these, the solidarity of sisters, brothers, comrades, friends and colleagues in the Union is essential. Let’s all recommit ourselves to each other’s safety and wellbeing and resist gendered violence in every form wherever we see it.
The letter was reposted on Reddit.
The U of T Students’ Union also released a statement today criticizing the wording of the university’s alert for not being clear enough on the intended targets of the threats, which they believe could leave staff and students at increased risk.
“This statement managed to completely neglect the mention of the explicit target of these threats as being women and feminists within the UofT
community,” the Students’ Union said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-5200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at http://www.222tips.com, or by texting TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637).