Racism in University of Manchester elections

 

Racism has reared its ugly head on the University of Manchester campus in the form of disgusting, racially motivated attacks against BME students standing in Students’ Union officer election.

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In recent weeks on the University of Manchester campus elections have been held for part time officer positions in the Student Union. These positions included black and minority ethnic (BAME) officers. These positions exist to fight racism and empower BAME students on campus. Unfortunately several of those standing for these positions have been subject to the racism that they are standing against. Students saw their banners torn down and racial abuse written on their posters overnight.

These students, several of them standing on a socialist platform in order to fight against racism, did nothing to provoke these attacks except have the “wrong” coloured skin. As socialists and people wishing to live in a civilized society we must stand up to racism in all its forms. This is why Manchester Marxists unanimously passed the motion at the bottom of the article.

Unfortunately these incidents appear to have taken the cowardly form of vandalism and graffiti done at night when no one could see the perpetrators, and it is therefore unlikely that anyone will be caught. But whether one encounters racism at work, on campus, or in public, it is crucial for everyone to remember events such as the battle of Cable Street and the victories of the working class against fascism and to fight racism in all its forms.

Although fighting racism under capitalism is important, it is not sufficient in itself. To truly defeat racism the revolutionary overthrow of the global capitalist imperialist system is needed to stop the perpetuation of racist, xenophobic ideology all around the globe. The victims of these incidents were able to win their elections thanks to the support they received from students at the University of Manchester. Now more than ever solidarity and support needs to be shown with all those fighting against racism and for a socialist future free of racist imperialism.

by Ed Rosier, Manchester Marxists

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Motion from Manchester Marxists passed unanimously on 19th October 2016:

In the last week Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic students standing for part time officer elections at the University of Manchester have been the targets of racist attacks. Racial abuse has been written on their election posters and banners have been torn down.

Manchester Marxists encourages the University to make every effort, including looking through CCTV footage, to identify and punish the offender(s).

Eighty years since the battle of Cable Street, when the working class in London defeated Oswald Mosley and his fascist movement, racism in Britain is alive and well. Manchester Marxists calls for a revival of the spirit of Cable Street and for workers and students in Manchester and across the country to smash racism in all its forms. In this vein Manchester Marxists condemns this vile racist abuse and calls for all Students and staff at the university to join us in this condemnation and to fight racism on campus.