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Statement: Incident outside Victoria Rooms last month

Press release issued: 14 December 2018

The University is aware of an incident which took place last month in which the fountains outside the Victoria Rooms were dyed red with direct references made to the 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech by Enoch Powell.

This racially divisive speech directly targeted recent immigrants from former British colonies and created a threatening atmosphere for them and their families.

Although the incident was not on University property, the Victoria Rooms can clearly be seen in the background of photographs which subsequently appeared in the press and on social media. 

We are concerned that the incident could have caused distress to students, staff or members of the public who saw it – particularly those from a BME background. 

As such we want to take this opportunity to re-iterate that there is no place for any form of racism, bullying or discrimination at the University of Bristol.

We are a place where all should feel safe, welcomed and respected, regardless of gender, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or social background. We actively promote a positive, inclusive culture, working with students and staff to achieve this.

We encourage any student or staff member who experiences racist behaviour to report this and to seek support. Any complaints will be dealt with seriously and handled with sensitivity.  

Professor Nishan Canagarajah

Pro-Vice Chancellor Research & Enterprise

Chair of the University's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group


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