Brandon University students alarmed by 'horrifying' posters, stickers promoting white supremacy
Student Jenna English says she's taken down 4 of the European Brotherhood posters already
A number of students at Brandon University say they're concerned after stickers and posters promoting white supremacy started appearing on and around the southwestern Manitoba university's campus.
Jenna English, a third-year student at Brandon University, said she's taken down four posters promoting European Brotherhood, which include nationalistic slogans such as "pro border, pro nation" and "join the resistance."
European Brotherhood is a clothing and accessories brand "founded [in] 2014 by a group of European Nationalists who care about the future of their land," according to its website, which says it offers "products for everyone in Europe who wants to defend its lands, his traditions and his millenary history."
Those products include sweatshirts with the slogan "supremacy" in bold white letters, and CDs by neo-Nazi and white supremacist bands, along with the stickers that have been appearing on the Brandon campus.
While some stickers have been found on street signs and bus shelters around Brandon, they've also appeared on the university's campus in recent weeks.
"I know that some people close to me, who are [international students] on campus, are feeling targeted by this white supremacist propaganda," said Aly Cameron, another student who saw the stickers and posters.
Cameron, a fourth-year student, said she's heard from many others who have also seen the images around the campus and city.
'We stand against it'
Nick Brown, the president of the Brandon University Students' Union, said posters promoting racism and hate, like the ones seen recently, have been appearing on campus more frequently since the school year started in September.
"A number of students are quite concerned," he told CBC News on Tuesday. "We have the largest number of international students and Indigenous students [the university has ever had] this year."
"We have a much more diverse campus now … it's quite concerning to us."
"If they are feeling physically insecure, they need to call security and the security is effective and quick at dealing with situation," he said.
"Any discrimination against anyone, we stand against it wholeheartedly," he said.
Cameron said while she realizes people do have a right to free speech, she'd like to see the university crack down and has been disappointed by BU's response.
"There is a large difference between free speech and hate speech and I don't think that's being addressed properly whatsoever," she said. "It's not showing students that they are with them."
University welcomes all
In a statement, a spokesperson for Brandon University said the post-secondary institution is committed to being welcoming and supportive of all, adding that the university is marking the anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights this week with displays and promotions.
"Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in particular states that education shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups. That is an ideal that Brandon University cherishes and strives for," the statement said.
English said while she doesn't know who is putting up the posters and stickers, she's disappointed to see it in Brandon.
"You hear about this sort of stuff happening in the States, especially with Charlottesville," she said.
"You don't really think about it happening in your community and it was very disappointing to see that kind of ideology taking root here."