Protestors form a "human chain of solidarity" in their gowns to protest against Carl's appointment and highlight that this "is not an academic freedom issue"Jess Ma

40 students and academics held banners and formed a “human chain of solidarity” in front of  Senate House today, protesting the appointment of Noah Carl as the Toby Jackman Newton Trust Research Fellow at St. Edmund’s College last year.

They chanted: “Racist fellow’s got to go,” and, “St. Edmund’s can you hear us?”. They also distributed flyers to passers-by and explained why they were protesting to interested members of the public.

Protestors display a signed banner calling for Carl's fellowship to be rescindedJOE COOK

Remade versions of nursery rhymes, such as The Drunken Sailor and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, were sung during the protest,with lyrics such as “What do we do with the racist fellow, fire him from St. Edmund’s,” and, “Racist racist Noah Carl/How I’m shocked that here you are/In St. Edmund’s you seem so high/Like a racist in disguise”.

Several passers-by and tourists stopped to take videos and watch on King’s Parade.

The appointment of Noah Carl to the fellowship at St. Edmund’s College has generated major controversy in the College and the University, with over 280 academics signing an open letter condemning the appointment in December and St. Edmund’s students pushing for an investigation of the appointment process in the college.

In January, students rejected the investigation panel set up by the College on the grounds of the lack of independence, relevant academic expertise, and BME representation, as explained in a statement released by the St. Edmund’s College Combination Room, the student representative body in the College. Later that month, students rallied against the issue in their college.

In March, Varsity revealed that three BME students have been threatened with disciplinary action by the College for their involvement in the protest in January, and have been asked to apologise to members of staff “for the distress caused to them”.

A protester told Varsity that they believe it is “shameful” for St. Edmund’s College and the University to “play host to resurgent ideas of a Nazi and fascist world” by appointing Noah Carl, and that they were protesting “to remind the University that this is a critical student body that has zero tolerance for fear or racist pseudoscience”.

Another protester said that they were “pretty unhappy” with the amount of time it has taken for the College to respond to the challenges of students and academics. They believed that the College has also been “insensitive to quite a lot of [St. Edmund’s] students” in the process.

A lack of transparency in the appointment process was highlighted by another protestor, who told Varsity that they are here because “we don’t think he is being hired by a process that is transparent and makes sense to us, and the investigation is flawed”. The protester suggested the College “come up with an investigation panel in collaboration with the students” to give students space to participate in the process.


Mountain View

St. Edmund’s students protest against racism in face of Noah Carl appointment

Apart from the protest today, students of St. Edmund’s College have been organising protests every Friday during Formal Hall.

One protester told Varsity that they “have faith” in the protests they are carrying out, and that “if there’s any change we will see, it will be because of these people [who protest persistently on this issue]”.