On 3rd November, the Guild of Students and the University of Birmingham delivered a joint statement regarding the anti-Semitic attacks of recent stating that:
“We unreservedly condemn the anti-Semitic posters found on campus in recent days and the vile abuse directed at Guild Officer Izzy Lenga on social media. We have reported the matter to West Midlands Police and are working with them to identify those involved.
The full statement can be found on the Guild of Students website, at www.guildofstudents.com.
Izzy Lenga, the Guild of Students Education Officer who was subject to horrific anti-Semitic abuse over Twitter almost two weeks ago, has been invited to talk about her experience this Sunday on Burn FM.
The abuse began after Izzy tweeted her shocking findings on campus early in the day; a portrait photograph of Adolf Hitler with the caption ‘Hitler was right’. West Midlands police told volunteer-led charity Campaign Against Antisemitism that the poster was quickly removed, and is due to be forensically examined soon to establish who is responsible.
CCTV footage is in the process of being watched by the force and students that have seen the poster which was placed on a pillar outside the Main Library are being spoken to as part of the investigation.
However, the situation escalated on social media even after the removal of the poster. One Twitter user, whose display picture was a Nazi Swastika, referred to Izzy as an “oven magnet”; whilst another tweeted a photograph of a group of stern-looking Nazi soldiers with the sinister caption: “You came to the wrong neighbourhood”, followed by another user suggesting that “the Holocaust is a big fat lie” and that “Hitler was a great man”.
A couple of days after Lenga’s infamous Twitter calamity, Labour MP, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and former student at the University of Birmingham Luciana Berger, herself a victim of anti-Semitism through social media in the past, came out in support of Lenga, labelling replies to her tweets as “vile” and the “darkest abuse” imaginable.
Any students that feel discriminated against or are simply concerned about their own welfare or that of others have been advised to contact the Guild’s Advice and Representation Centre.
To listen to Izzy’s interview, tune in to Burn FM’s Sunday Edition this Sunday from 1pm to 3pm.