Protestors chanted "Jimmy Carr shame on you!" and "Out, out Jimmy Carr!"Varsity

Crowds gathered outside Corn Exchange on Wednesday evening (16/2) to protest against comedian Jimmy Carr’s comments on the Holocaust and Gypsy communities.

The protest took place at 7pm, while Carr was performing his gig inside the venue.

This comes in the wake of outrage at Carr after he joked that the death of “thousands of Gypsies” had been one of the “positives” of the Holocaust.

The demonstration was organised by Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) Cambridge, and was attended by those within and outside of the Traveller community.

Speakers at the protest called Carr’s jokes “cowardly” and demanded that he “move his humour away from hate.”

Protestors chanted “Jimmy Carr shame on you!” and “Out, out Jimmy Carr!”, while holding posters that said “Genocide is not a subject for mockery” and “Your jokes are not welcome”.

They faced hostility from some passers-by, with one man shouting that Carr was exercising “free speech” and that it was “just a joke”. The protestors responded that the genocide of Gypsies during the Holocaust was “no laughing matter.”

Jimmy Carr graduated with a first in Social and Political Science - a precursor to HSPS - from Caius in 1994.

SU President Zak Coleman and BME Officer Tara Choudhury both attended the protest.

Speaking to Varsity, Zak said that whilst it was sad to see how many people had attended Carr’s show despite the protests, it was also amazing to see so many people showing solidarity with Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities.

Both Zak and Tara emphasised that they were not only there as SU officers, but also to show their support personally.

In a Facebook post, Tara urged people to attend the protests “so Carr hears loud and clear that there is no place for racism in Cambridge.

“If, as Jimmy Carr has done, you choose to platform hateful, fascist views making light of genocide, you are not immune from criticism because you deliver these views as ‘jokes’. There is nothing funny about the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.”


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She went on to add: “At a time when government legislation threatens to criminalise the very existence of the UK’s already marginalised GRT [Gypsy, Roma and Traveller] communities, it is more important than ever to condemn views that normalise bigotry towards them.”

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Many of the speakers at the protest brought up the recent Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

One said that Carr’s comments “come out of the same nasty strand in our society that has given us the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which seeks to further criminalise the Traveller way of life.”

Cambridge City Council lit up the Corn Exchange in green to show solidarity with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.