College workers were seen cleaning the gate at around 8:30amXR Youth Cambridge

Last night (11/06) Extinction Rebellion Youth Cambridge (XRYC) spray-painted the image of Ronald Fisher onto Gonville and Caius’ Gate of Honour with the message ‘Fisher Must Fall’.

Fisher was a statistician and eugenicist who attended the college between 1909-1912.

The action comes after a petition demanding that the College take down a memorial window panel in honour of Fisher in the Caius hall received over 1,000 signatures. The campaign was started by a Caius student, and is not connected to XRYC’s actions.

XYRC's wording mirrors that of the 'Rhodes Must Fall' campaign in OxfordXR Youth Cambridge

The petition states that “the panel makes no mention of Fisher’s significant contributions to the Eugenicist movement. Nor is it accompanied with a college programme to educate students about Fisher’s racism.”

XRYC’s action also follows worldwide anti-racism protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

An XYRC press release quotes an activist as describing the organisation as having been “watching in awe as people around the world stand up to their governments and demand justice.”

“It is long past time for Cambridge to own up to its racist heritage and end the glorification of white supremacy”, it continued.

XRYC said that, while they acted alone, they recognised the role of several other groups in tackling racism in Cambridge, including the petition and the Cambridge Black Lives Protest which took place last week, which were organised by affiliates of AfroCam and Good Health Africa.


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The petition for the panels removal quotes “statistician” Nathanial Joselson as describing Fisher’s 1930 General Theory of Natural Selection as arguing that civilisations which failed did so because of a “low genetic value”.

Joselson also states that Fisher claimed that the extermination of “tribes” with less “genetic value” increased the average genetic worth of humanity.

All those who took part in the action against Caius were described by XYRC as having followed social distancing guidelines and worn masks.

College staff were seen cleaning the message at around 8:30 this morning.

Varsity has contacted the College for comment.

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