University, students respond to alt-right posters found on campus

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CSEC and Saanich PD notified about the unauthorized flyers posted in Cornett

Content Warning: Anti-Semitism, Racism

UVic’s student body and administration responded in kind when photos of racist posters, found in the Cornett Building, circulated online.

The posters were initially discovered the night of Oct. 18 and feature racist rhetoric, explicit anti-semitic symbols, and links to various alt-right websites. They became a talking point across campus, however, after a photo of the poster was shared by a Facebook group named “Anti-Racist Action UVic” on Nov. 1.

From there, the photo was posted on a number of UVic-student-run Facebook pages and viewed hundreds of times.

Responding to questions from the Martlet back in October, Paul Marck, a spokesperson for the university, said CSEC had been notified of the posters and were investigating the issue.

“We’re disappointed that people would post offensive material like this,” said Cassbreea

Dewis, the acting director of UVic’s Equity and Human Rights office, in a statement. Dewis urged students with concerns about the posters to contact EQHR.

Tyson Strandlund, a graduate student at UVic and administrator of the Anti-Racist Action UVic Facebook page, said he wasn’t surprised to see posters like this at UVic given that the university has dealt with issues of racism before.

“However, to see the anti-Semitic elements in this blatantly white supremacist piece of propaganda is deeply troubling,” Strandlund said over Facebook.

In an email statement, B’nai Brith Canada — the Canadian chapter of an international Jewish services organization — condemned the posters.

“This brazen outburst of far-right antisemitism at a Canadian university is a serious concern,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada, in the statement. “It is imperative that university officials do whatever they can to identify and discipline the culprits.”

Students online expressed a similar and widespread disdain for the poster.

“UVic is a diverse campus, [and] Canada is known for its diversity,” commented Rehatbir Singh Dhingra. “There’s no place for this bullshit.”

April Hautomala, another commenter on Facebook, agreed.

“Seems like this is just another ploy by the alt right to silence already marginalized people,” Hautomala wrote.

Though Marck couldn’t comment on whether Cornett is under video surveillance, citing security concerns, he did say CSEC were committed to using every resource available.

“I would imagine they’re going to use every avenue they can,” Marck said, “in terms of investigating this to see if they can determine who came into the building and when [the posters were] posted.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

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