The statement was published earlier this afternoonFLY Cambridge

FLY Cambridge has published a statement of solidarity with Jason Okundaye, head of CUSU’s BME campaign.

They encourage students, “regardless of background”, to sign the letter “in support of Jason and the meaningful work that he and countless other student activists of colour tirelessly engage on a day to day basis.”

The statement is in response to the controversy surrounding Okundaye’s tweets from Saturday evening.

Okundaye has been on the receiving end of much racist abuse for his tweets, including rape and death threats. He has since made his Twitter account private.

There were previous calls over the weekend for students to email the University in support of Okundaye.

The statement begins, “In the last week, a Black student has been targeted by and subject to not only intense national scrutiny but vilification by the alt-right, racist press.”

“Jason Osamede Okundaye, president of the CUSU BME Campaign and an outspoken advocate for the welfare of people of colour at Cambridge, particularly Black and queer students, has been at the receiving end of racist slurs and insults as well as rape and death threats for tweets that were willfully taken out of context. Unfortunately, this incident points to a broader historical trend of the violent denigration of student activists of colour in the public eye.”

The statement goes on to criticise Katie Hopkins, who posted a screenshot of some of Okundaye’s tweets, for decontextualising them, and notes that Hopkins “attained her platform through a slew of racist statements which included a comparison of migrants to ‘cockroaches’”.

It also criticises the University of Cambridge for their lack of support towards Okundaye over the incident, and the racial abuse he has been suffering, saying that “the message sent by the university’s response is that the welfare of BME students is not a priority.”

On Monday Cambridgeshire Police confirmed that they were dropping their investigation into the tweets since there was “no realistic proposition of a conviction for any offence.”

A University of Cambridge spokesperson on behalf of Pembroke College said on Saturday that “the College is looking into this matter and will respond appropriately.” There is no update to the statement at the time of writing.

The full statement and petition can be found here

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