The Ethnic Minorities Officer (EMO) at the University of Warwick’s Students’ Union (SU) has declared his support for Hong Kong in a public statement.
On Wednesday, a group of Hong Kong students erected a Lennon Wall at the Piazza which included a “Li pig” mosaic. It was taken down by campus security following complaints from mainland Chinese students that it was racist.
The following day, Warwick SU’s non-EU International Students’ Officer (ISO) Zishi Zhang published an open letter addressed to Vice-Chancellor Stuart Croft and SU President Ben Newsham calling for the Hong Kong students to be reprimanded and the request to put up a wall to be reviewed.
Today, an open letter of “clarification” was posted to Instagram and Twitter by the group of Hong Kong students under the alias, Warwick Stands with Hong Kong.
With respect to these developments, EMO Taj Ali has released a statement on the city, supporting the protestors and defending the mosaic pig.
I stand with Warwick’s Hong Kong student community who are standing up to a regime which not only brutalises fellow students in Hong Kong but is running concentration camps against its own Uyghur Muslim minority
– Taj Ali
He said: “Warwick University has failed on numerous occasions to deal with cases of racism. Just recently it was the only Russell Group University to fail to engage with the EHRC’s survey on racial harrasment (sic) at UK universities. It is an absolute disgrace for the university to attempt to censor a peaceful protest through accusations of ‘racism’.
“The specific ‘pig in a hard hat’ image is inspired by similar icons found around Hong Kong and the hard hat is referencing the hats protestors wear to protect themselves against rubber bullets and so forth by the police.
“I stand with Warwick’s Hong Kong student community who are standing up to a regime which not only brutalises fellow students in Hong Kong but is running concentration camps against its own Uyghur Muslim minority. The student movement has a long and proud history of peaceful activism against global injustice and we should resist any attempt at censorship of peaceful protest.”
Speaking to The Boar, he added: “It is also concerning to hear some students have had their personal information shared without their consent, cyber bullying and even death threats for expressing their solidarity with the protestors in Hong Kong who are campaigning for the right to free expression and against state repression.”