University of Victoria president, Jewish group responds to 'anti-Semitic' posters

A racially-charged poster was found at the University of Victoria on Oct. 18, according to the school’s president, who issued a statement in response. Photo from Facebook.

The self-proclaimed “Alt-Right” has brought its message to a Canadian university with flyers that have caused outrage.

A racially-charged poster found at the University of Victoria has caught the eye of students, school officials and Jewish groups.

The flyers say, “(((Those))) who hate us will not replace us” in large font, followed by text that says, “Defend Canadian heritage, fight back against anti-white hatred.”

While Jews are not specifically referenced in the posters, the use of triple parentheses, or “echoes,” in the text is a marker used by white supremacists to identify Jewish people, according to the Guardian.

The flyers also contain links to “Alt-Right” websites, which are commonly associated with white supremacist groups.

On Friday, University of Victoria president Jamie Cassels issued a statement in response to the “anti-Semitic” posters that he confirmed were first seen on campus on Oct. 18.

“Although the posters were taken down immediately, this incident reminds us that racism and discrimination of many forms exist and must be addressed on this campus, as in society as a whole,” Cassels said.

“No forms of racism or discrimination are acceptable,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, we also know that discriminatory, racist and anti-Semitic attitudes continue to exist; and this reinforces the importance of education and the responsibility of educational institutions like ours to confront ignorance and actively promote respect, inclusiveness and better understanding.”

‘A serious concern’

The Jewish group B’nai Brith Canada acknowledged the posters with a news release on their website where they compared the message to the “Jews will not replace us” chants heard during the August “Unite the Right” rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va., which left one protester dead.

“This brazen outburst of far-right antisemitism at a Canadian university is a serious concern,” said B’nai Brith Canada chief executive officer Michael Mostyn. “It is imperative that university officials do whatever they can to identify and discipline the culprits.”

B’nai Brith Canada media co-ordinator Daniel Koren told the Vancouver Sun that he encourages students to “speak out” and “show solidarity with Jewish students” in response to the flyers.

“I’m sure Jewish students are feeling very targeted right now,” Koren said.

The Jewish group says they are in contact with university officials, but it appears students are also taking matters into their own hands.

A Facebook group called Anti-Racist Action UVic urged students who come across the posters to “promptly rip them down.” The group says a meeting has been scheduled for Nov. 15 “to discuss a campus anti-racist strategy.”

It’s not clear who is responsible for distributing the posters at UVic, but it’s not the first time this type of propaganda has appeared at a Canadian university.

Last month, Global News reported posters containing slogans such as “race war is inevitable” and “join your local Nazis” were found at the University of Northern British Columbia and the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, B.C.

No charges were laid in connection with those incidents, Global News reported.