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The Breakdown: Anti-Chinese Posters at Melbourne Universities Are Tied to White Supremacists

“Our society has been maliciously slandered by these notices put up around the university campus and it has created a harmful and poisonous atmosphere for all students,” the statement said.

The Antipodean Resistance, a white supremacist group that identifies itself as pro-Nazi, claimed responsibility for the posters on Twitter. The group’s website contains anti-Chinese slurs and Nazi imagery.

Both universities said that they had contacted the police and were starting investigations using closed-circuit television footage to try to determine who put up the posters.

“We are committed to maintaining and strengthening a vibrant, inclusive and respectful campus community in which diversity is recognized, valued and celebrated,” the University of Melbourne said in a statement. Monash University confirmed on Facebook that 23 posters had been found on their Clayton campus and called “any instance of racism abhorrent.”

On Chinese social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo, news of the posters garnered significant attention. The Chinese state news media reported on the posters while highlighting a history of other anti-Chinese incidents in Australia.

An article on Australian Red Scarf, a popular website among young Chinese people in Australia, called on the Australian government to get involved in the matter. The article was viewed more than 17,000 times.

“We could have just laughed at these posters insulting China,” it said. “But this has happened in the first week of the semester, and has brought shame on our student union — will you be able to put up with this?”

Sophie Johnston, president of the National Union of Students, said the group had been in contact with student body presidents at universities across Australia to warn them in case similar episodes occurred.

“Those kinds of comments don’t have any place on university campuses,” she said, adding that most Australian students did not share such sentiment toward Chinese students.

It is not the first time the Antipodean Resistance has left racist material on campuses. In December, posters urging “Keep Australia White” were also found on buildings at the University of Melbourne.

The latest posters alarmed Chinese students studying at the University of Melbourne.

Melinda Mengying Li, 23, who arrived in Melbourne two weeks ago to begin a master’s degree in art curatorship, said the posters fed into a pattern of discrimination that Chinese people face worldwide.

“I felt enraged, thinking of how Chinese overseas communities have always been isolated, unjustly labeled and even attacked,” she said. “I hoped on campus there could be an atmosphere of equality, mutual respect and mutual improvement.”

Other students dismissed the posters as little more than the work of isolated amateurs.

Ruiqi Liu, the president of the University of Melbourne branch of the Chinese Student and Scholars Association, called the posters “laughable” and “childish.”

Source: NYT > World

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