Solidarity with Asian and Chinese Communities

Goldsmiths University and College Union (UCU) branch denounces the alarming rise of racial abuse and attacks on Asian people, university students and staff since the outbreak of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Chinese students at Goldsmiths have reported recent instances of racist abuse linked to the virus. A Korean student at SOAS was physically assaulted last week in the Brunswick shopping centre whilst with a group of East Asian SOAS  students. The Guardian reported that a postgraduate student in Sheffield was verbally and physically harassed for wearing a face mask; in Leicestershire, two students were pelted with eggs in the street; the Manchester Chinese Centre denounced racist incidents targeting school pupils; the BBC reported that a Royal Holloway student was racially abused at Clapham Junction station. At the end of February, a UCL student, Jonathan Mok, was assaulted by four people in Oxford Street. In Chinatown in central London, workers are facing redundancies due to declining sales.

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the ways in which the Coronavirus pandemic is being used to victimise the Asian community in this country. This is happening at a time when the Home Office is illegally deporting Windrush citizens and the Tory Government is tightening immigration rules, instigating racist divisions among workers.

As UCU members, we give our heartfelt solidarity to Chinese and other Asian students and academics facing this escalation of racial discrimination. With our strike action, we do not seek to achieve only fair pension, pay and conditions. We also seek to create a university where staff and students are given equal opportunities and treated equally, and contribute to a society in which racism is stamped out forever.