On the 18th October, offensive posters with anti-Black History Month and far-right adjacent messages were found to have been placed in well over twenty locations across the University of Surrey Stag Hill Campus. These posters were likely placed at nighttime on the 17th October but the exact time it is at this point unclear.
The majority of the posters were taken down by students, with one dedicated student searching campus and taking down 25 posters. Since the 18th of October, more posters have been found less frequently. It is not confirmed if these are from the original spree of posters or from a follow-up round.
The posters are protesting the running of Black History Month events - Black Students Only sessions run by some clubs and societies at the university. Two images of the groups' social media posts are combined with three anti-segregation images from the US Civil Rights movement against segregation. The images are accompanied by the message “Identity politics killed 200 million people in the 20th Century. Don’t let them divide us”. Below are images of the communist hammer and sickle as well as a Nazi Swastika over a red backgroud. Shortly below these images is a quote from Canadian Psychologist and well-known right-wing commentator Dr Jordan Peterson: “People have within them this capacity to set the world straight”. This quote is from a Channel 4 Interview with Dr Jordan Peterson by Cathy Newman where Dr Peterson was specifically talking about a crisis in masculinity and how 90% of his audience is male.
The claims of the posters are false and the source of the “200 million” dead claim is unclear. Regardless of the source, the imagery and claims draw false equivalency to several historical movements and events and are designed to be inflammatory.
The posters were reported to have been placed in over twenty locations across campus
Both photos provided by an anonymous student
As part of a statement released by the Students' Union and the University when contacted by The Stag, a spokesperson commented:
“These events were clumsily advertised. We do have work to do to ensure that underrepresentation in participation in sporting and other social activities among our black and minority ethnic students is addressed. We are proud of the diversity of our community, and are committed to inclusivity in all our events. We regret the error in advertising these events as exclusively open to one group of our students – they are open to all, and we will make this clear."
If anyone believes they may know who was involved in the postering, please contact Report + Support at https://reportandsupport.surrey.ac.uk/. Similarly, if you have been affected by racism or hate speech and are a student at the University of Surrey, you can use the same link to access support services and be directed to the right place.