On Tuesday night, an alt-right group took credit for placing stickers depicting anti-Semitic imagery on Black Lives Matter posters.
The group has white supremacist sentiments posted on their Twitter account.
Students began taking down additional white supremacist posters and anti-Semitic stickers after receiving texts from others informing them of their presence on the West Hall arch and a posting board by CC Little.
Central Student Government President Anushka Sarkar, an LSA senior, said there had been some expectation of a racist incident occurring this week, based on precedent of such incidents occurring during prior finals weeks.
“There was an email that went out from the Dean’s office, just sort of like preempting any possibility of trolls,” she said, referring to an email sent by LSA Dean Andrew Martin to the student body on April 6.
The email discussed the tense political climate on campus following a number of hate incidents in the last year, including the posting of flyers promoting white supremacy, racist and anti-Semitic emails sent to University engineering and computer science students and anti-Islam chalk in the Diag.
“While we do not know of anyone planning a provocation, we are aware that bigoted individuals might try to disrupt our studies and distract us from our important work,” Martin wrote. “We can’t control what these people do and say, but we can respond in ways that don’t validate them”
The email went on to advise students on response tactics to hateful speech, including reporting bias incidents and refraining from sharing the content itself on social media platforms when raising awareness.
Sarkar arrived at the CC Little posting board around midnight with several CSG members including Vice President Nadine Jawad, a Public Policy senior.
“Nadine and I, and other members of CSG are going to be going around tonight to be taking down these posters,” Sarkar said. “We’ve been working with other student leaders and members of organizations who are going to be taking down these flyers, and putting up some positive flyers as well this week.”
Many students felt the University was not doing enough in response to past flyers.
Students4Justice said they were not fully informed of the recent situation, adding on if these posters were similar to the ones of last semester, it was proof of the “pervasive nature of white supremacy and how it goes unchallenged by our institution.”
Postdoctoral fellow Austin McCoy said he found out about the stickers from a friend who had posted on her Facebook earlier in the evening, but he had been aware of the Black Lives Matter posters that had been torn down Sunday.
“What some of these posts are doing, especially like Iron Mitten and a few other people that this person has tweeted at, especially tonight — what they were trying to do this past semester was try to basically appeal to disaffected white students and other white people in Ann Arbor and they were trying to … make claims that they are oppressed because of diversity,” he said.
McCoy said he suspects similar acts of white supremacy given graduation is approaching and there will be more people on campus to appeal to.
On Sunday, the Collective Against White Supremacy posted on their Facebook page that morning flyers posted several of their members posted flyers around campus reading “Black Lives Matter,” “Racism will not be tolerated here,” among others, were later torn down during the day.
The Facebook post says “two white supremacists” tore the posters down, proceeding to “(shove) them in people’s faces.” When a member of the CAWS group saw the people who tore down the posters, “they were aiming a nazi salute at three women, one who was a woman of color.”
The Facebook post goes on to include that the people that tore down the posters then called the police on the CAWS member, after which they began filing a report.
Yesterday CAWS posted a photo on their Facebook page of the two alleged perpetrators, noting that one was “visibly intoxicated.” The group included that they are working to identify the men in the photo by name.
The Division of Public Safety and Security declined to comment until further information.
CAWS plans on putting the flyers back up this week, according to their first Facebook post regarding the event.
The Graduate Employees’ Organization at the University of Michigan also posted on their Facebook page earlier Tuesday acknowledging there have been far-right chalkings on campus, along with vandalism of a Black Law Students Association board.
The post states the group stands against recent acts of white supremacy.
“We take this stance with the understanding that choosing to do nothing is choosing to support the side of oppressors,” the post read. “Dismantling white supremacy here requires acknowledging the existence of bigotry on this campus and requires an active push against it.”
This is a developing story. Check back at michigandaily.com for updates.