Protest after racist stunt on campus


By Imogen Horton, News Editor

The protest was held after a far-right racist group dyed the Victoria Rooms fountain red.

Despite the weather, University of Bristol students and staff gathered outside the Victoria Rooms on Wednesday evening to protest against a recent racist attack

The group protested together in solidarity chanting 'say it loud, say it clear refugees are welcome here' and '5, 6, 7, 8, no to violence, no to hate'.

Among the protestors, were members of Stand up to Racism Students, Bristol University Islamic Society (Brisoc), and Unite South West.

Sophia Beach, a second year philosophy student from Stand up to Racism Student Society, said:

'Stand up to Racism decided to call a demonstration because we believe that Bristol is a multi-cultural, diverse and welcoming community. The University has a lot of international students, so does UWE, and the city has so many different cultures and ethnicities within it.

'We love migrants, we love refugees, we love people of all colours. The only people who aren't welcome are the fascist scum like [Generation Identity].

'Its brilliant that about 120 people have turned up today. My message to anyone reading this is to take down their stickers if you see them, or cover them with anti-racist ones.'

The organisers also encouraged supporters to sign a petition urging Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, to tackle racist attacks on public transport.

Talking to Epigram, a third year student said she'd attended the protest because she didn't think 'anyone should be attacked because of their religion, colour or sexuality.'

'I don't think you can use free speech to justify hate. As soon as we see any type of hatred we should join together and fight it at once. If we let it go on for too long it will get bigger and bigger.

'We need to tackle hatred head on. Stand up against it and unite.'

Generation Identity, a pan-European far-right youth group, committed to 'preserving our ethno-cultural identity', dyed the water of the Victoria Rooms fountain red in representation of Enoch Powell's 1968 'Rivers of Blood' speech. The speech was also played aloud on speaks during the stunt.

Protestors described the stunt as a 'racist attack', explaining how it was 'more serious' than previous actions the group had taken.

One of the protest organisers, Sophie, from Stand up to Racism Bristol told Epigram: 'We're saying no to Generation Identity and other right wing groups that want to come to Bristol and spread their racial hatred.

'They try and cover up as some sort of intellectual grouping, they even try to make themselves seem respectable, but their racist ideas are not respectable.

'We can't have this racist movement here in Bristol, or anywhere.'

Stand up to Racism Students also reached out to other students asking any anti-racists to get in touch with them. They invite anyone interested in joining them to a film screening of Everything Must Fall next thursday.

Featured Image: Becky Whitwood / Unite South West

What do you think about Victoria Rooms fountain being dyed red? Let us know!

Facebook // Epigram // Twitter