The appearance of a number of swastikas in Brighton university has sparked shock and discomfort among students. The symbol, adopted by the Nazi’s in the 1920s as a symbol for its despotic and racist regime, was spotted by a student in one of the university’s computer rooms.
The student, who wishes to remain anonymous and is hereafter referred to as “Mary”, described the encounter as follows: “I was in the computer room with a friend and we just spotted them on the pinboard, I just remember feeling very confused and shocked, like who would draw something like that?” Mary went on to describe how she alerted a member of staff, “I told a technician about what we’d seen, and they said they’d paint over it.”
The appearance of the symbols comes just days after Britain formally left the European Union, with some suggesting that it is a sign of the rising far-right sentiment that has swept the country in the years since the UK voted to leave the EU. According to Home Office figures, reported hate crimes have more than doubled since 2013, with a spike, it says, since 2016.
A similar incident occurred at Sussex university in 2017 when swastika graffiti was spotted on campus, at the time Andrea Cornwall, one of the DPVCs for Equalities and Diversity, stated in an email: “this sickening act is utterly abhorrent. Anti-semitic graffiti is a hate crime, and I’d like everyone to know that we’ve acted swiftly in referring the matter to the police. (The Badger, Mar 2017)
Responding to the graffiti, a University of Brighton spokesperson, said: “Hate crime in any form will not be tolerated at the University of Brighton and we will never hesitate to take action. As soon as this unacceptable incident was brought to our attention it was reported to the police and swift action taken to remove the graffiti.”