Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

KINGSTON, ONT. – Police moved in to break into a massive street party in the University District of Kingston, Ont. Saturday afternoon as thousands of students ignored pleas from police and Queen’s University to avoid large gatherings over the weekend return home.

About 8,000 people packed Aberdeen Street and William Street, near the campus of Queen’s University, to celebrate the first homecoming weekend in two years.

“I’ve been through the crowd. There have been some crazy things going on,” said Tyler Shea, a freshman at Queen’s University Saturday afternoon.

“It’s just a time to celebrate university. You just have to feel good, so I decided to come out,” said David Shendlman.

CTV News Ottawa’s Kimberley Johnson saw thousands of students on the streets, in front of lawns along with on porches of homes in the area.

A police officer was injured when cans and water bottles were thrown at officers on patrol in the area.

Just after kl. 16 Kingston police declared Aberdeen Street and William Street an ‘aggravated nuisance’ during the mayor’s emergency order.

Dozens of Kingston Police Service, Durham Regional Police and Ontario Provincial Police officers lined Aberdeen Street, while officers issued $ 2,000 tickets to people who attended, hosted and partyed on the street. Forty members of OPP’s emergency team were also seen on the streets of the university district.

At 5.20pm, police lifted the gross statement of nuisance saying the street had been cleared.

Officers stayed in the university district Saturday night, monitoring any parties and activities near campus.

Another aggravated party was declared just before noon. 23 in the area of ​​University Avenue and Johnson Street, and once again ordered people to disperse.

Overnight, police said officers continued to deal with intoxicated persons in the area of ​​Victoria Park.

The city of Kingston reported late Saturday night that police and bylaws officers responded to a new “large assembly” in the University Avenue and Johnson Street area.

Police told CTV News Ottawa on Saturday night there were a few arrests in connection with the celebrations in homecoming on Saturday, but no other details were available.

Kingston

“We went to check it out. It’s a little crazy,” Alex Francis said.

“We tried our best to stay back, there are so many people,” another student told CTV News Ottawa.

Other students said they would celebrate returning home after it was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Especially since last year, when we didn’t get a HOCO and COVID kind of hit everything, I think everyone’s going to go pretty hard this year,” said a student near Aberdeen Street.

“We stay safe, we’re all fully vaccinated and we’re just trying to have fun.”

Kingston

Just after kl. 13 police said large gatherings began to form in the university district and many lanes were congested.

Just after 1:30 p.m., police said there was a “volatile crowd” on Aberdeen Street.

“Projectiles have been thrown at police on the ground with an officer sustained an injury,” Kingston police said on Twitter.

Art. Greg Anderson told Toronto’s CP24 that officers on patrol in the university district had beer cans and water bottles thrown at them.

Hundreds of people were seen on the streets, on the front lawns of properties and even on the roof of a home in the university district on Saturday afternoon.

Queen's University District

In a statement on Twitter, Queen’s University says it “condemns the misogynistic signs in the university district and reports that some people threw projectiles at police, leading to an officer being injured.

“These actions will be actively pursued under our Code of Conduct for Students.”

Queen’s University had said that most returning weekend events would be held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Queen’s Gaels faced the Carleton Ravens in the OUA football action in Kingston on Saturday afternoon.

Kingston police and bylaws along with Queen’s University had urged students to respect COVID-19 protocols and avoid large street parties during the journey home.

On Thursday, the Queen’s Principal Patrick Deane sent a message to the students asking them not to attend major events during their return home.

“I ask for your help to help contain the social gatherings and act responsibly in the coming weekends,” Deane said. “As members of both the Queen’s and Kingston communities, we must all demonstrate leadership, respect each other and be aware and aware of the provincial laws and local statutes that are in place to protect us.”

Homecoming traditionally brings students and alumni to the city, and unofficial events in recent years have included massive street parties over the weekend.

Under Ontario’s COVID-19 protocols, collections are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

On September 10, the city of Kingston issued a new emergency order, which includes increased sanctions and new enforcement powers to deter social gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new emergency ordinance increases the administrative monetary sanctions for participating in an ‘aggravated nuisance party’ to $ 2,000. Police have the power to immediately issue fines for violations once a nuisance party has been declared.

Organizers and hosts of parties may be fined $ 10,000 under the Ontario Reopening Act.

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