White supremacist materials have once again been distributed around campus. The posters, which have been found at a variety of locations around the city campus, direct individuals to the website of a white supremacist group.
According to a university spokesperson, “[the university] are aware of materials being posted around the campus, and are ensuring these are removed…We are removing the material because it is illegal, i.e. defacing University property and contravening the Summary Offences Act 1981 s.33 – Billsticking. This rule applies to any material that is illegally posted.”
George Barton, President of the Auckland University Students’ Association, has admonished the materials in a statement condemning white supremacy. “There is absolutely no place for white supremacy on campus. As soon as we heard reports of stickers being up on campus we were in communication with the University who, we are very glad to see, are taking these stickers down and instructing security to do so. As we welcome our new students on campus, it is so important that we make this University as inclusive as it can be and that means making sure white supremacy has no place on our grounds. We encourage all students who see them and who feel safe to do so to take them down and to call security or get in touch with AUSA if they don’t.”
“Importantly, in doing that and in being swift on doing that, we’re making sure that these guys aren’t getting any oxygen whatsoever or any coverage that having stickers up on campus might give them, because that’s their intention.”
Twitter users have encouraged people to remove the posters if they see them, and not to post pictures of the materials online.
“I can’t reiterate enough: they’re doing this now to provoke a response. They want us to post pictures of their whites supremacist garbage to extend their reach. Please, if you see something just take it down. Let’s not play their game,” says Twitter user @CentralCommiTi.
Last year, a number of white supremacist posters were plastered around the university campus. At the time, Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon called the material an exercise of “free speech”, and the university did not remove the posters. This response attracted criticism from concerned students, some of which took matters into their own hands by tearing down the posters.