Who did it? Racist posters targeting Chinese students found at two Melbourne universities

Who did it? Racist posters targeting Chinese students found at two Melbourne universities
PHOTO: Facebook/ The University of Melbourne, Twitter screengrab/ Lisa Lu

Offensive posters directed at Chinese students have been recently posted at both Melbourne University and Monash University in Australia.

On Sunday (July 23), Melbourne University student Lisa Lu came across an offensive flyer displyed on the east gate of the Doug McDonnell building at her school.

Written in simplified Chinese, the flyer said, "Notice: Chinese citizens are not allowed into the premise. If violated, you might face charges and expulsion from the country."

The flyer even contained the University of Melbourne logo in the upper right-hand corner.

Ms Lu immediately tweeted her disbelief and said, "Tell me this is a joke!"

"I don't know who would do this on the very first day of the new semester. Even [if] it's a joke IT IS NOT FUNNY AT ALL!" she added.

The University of Melbourne security staff responded by removing the fliers and informing Victoria Police, according to its online statement. Copies of the flyers and images from CCTV have also been shared with police.

"The University does not tolerate activities of hatred and intolerance. We are committed to maintaining and strengthening a vibrant, inclusive and respectful campus community in which diversity is recognised, valued and celebrated," the statement said.

"These flyers were not produced by - or condoned by - the University of Melbourne. Our University campus is open to the public. There is no evidence the flyers were produced or distributed by anyone associated with the University."

When the same posters (except with different fake logos) were found at Monash University, the school strongly denounced them. The University posted two statements on Facebook, the first being a security update and the second a longer follow-up with details.

Photo: Screengrab of Monash University's Facebook post

The longer statement said: "We wish to confirm our resolute objection to racist and offensive material and commentary. By way of context, yesterday morning, our security teams became aware of a number of offensive, racist and hate-filled posters on poster boards at the Clayton campus."

The University took immediate action by removing all the posters, contacting student leaders, and contacting local police, and the Monash City Council.

"Monash has extensive CCTV on all its campuses and footage has been shared with police," the statement added.

"The University finds this material and associated behaviour reprehensible. This disgusting behaviour has occurred before at Monash and other Australian universities and the community is sick of it."

The post also encouraged showing support to those who feel unsettled by the commentary and offering reassurances to them that the incident does not reflect the ethics of the campus community.

Although there is not yet any evidence tracing back to any particular group, Sophie Johnston, the president of the National Union of Students (NUS), said in an ABC News report that a search of social media traced the material back to an organisation called Antipodean Resistance.

Furthermore, an image has surfaced revealing that there may be a link on the back of the posters, also leading to Antipodean Resistance.

Photo: Wordpress blog Crossing the Wall

Johnston said that a second group of posters also included Nazi content.

Although it is not certain that the flyers were created and distributed by Antipodean Resistance, a quick look at their Twitter account suggests the organisation, at the very least, approves of the offensive messages.

The account also has photos of the flyers all laid out together before they were posted in various places on the university campuses.

As of now, police are still investigating, said a report from the Herald Sun.

Clayton police Senior Sergeant Ross Graham said that CCTV footage revealed two people in dark hoodies putting up the posters.

“We are working closely with the university [Monash] to ensure that we stamp out this sort of activity,” Senior Sgt Graham said.

thanhb@sph.com.sg

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.