“We maintain a zero-tolerance on any form of discrimination and this was a horrible occurrence that should never be repeated.”
Black and LGBTQ+ students at the University of Edinburgh were subjected to hate after an event was interrupted with homophobic and racial slurs.
The attacked happened during an informative Zoom event, which had close to 50 people attending.
The African and Caribbean Society took to Instagram to express their disappointment in the incident.
“For Caribbean Week the African and Caribbean Society, in conjunction with Edinburgh Global hosted the event “Pro-Black and Anti-Gay?”. This event spoke on the intersectionality of oppression and how we as a community, can move forward, learn to be accepting of each other and love ourselves.”
“This event, however, was interrupted by bigots using abhorrent homophobic and racist slurs and threats. We strongly condemn their actions and this attack only proved the necessity of these discussions,” the statement read.
It was reported that the hijackers displayed “horrific” pornography, shouted demeaning slurs and threatened the attendees.
“Even after being kicked out of the event, the attackers rejoined multiple times, through links that had been shared with students at the university,” one audience member revealed.
It was also reported that the Zoom meeting was not password protected.
After the horrific event, the African and Caribbean Society reported the incident to higher authorities and stated that “action will be taken.”
The university has referred to the attack as a “serious matter” while Zoom has begun an investigation.
“We take meeting disruptions extremely seriously,” the US-based company said.
Jason Jones, a Caribbean LGBT rights campaigner told BBC News that he has “never experienced such a horrible attack” in his extensive years of fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.
“This was a virtual hate crime. It was so out of the blue that there was no way of preparing for it.
“This attack was designed to get under my skin and create fear and intimidation. I have had a very dark and awful emotional response to it. It reduced me to tears,” he said.
Unfortunately, the hijacking of Zoom events has been on the rise, since the start of the pandemic.
Back in October, an LGBT Association Zoom meeting at Durham University was hijacked by homophobes, which left the students feeling “unsafe”.
Jeffrey Ingold, head of media at Stonewall, has called on video conference platforms to take better safety precautions stating: “It’s vital that tech platforms and universities work together to improve online safety measures and deal with all incidents seriously and swiftly to make clear that anti-LGBT+ and racist abuse online will not be tolerated.”
View this post on Instagram