‘We preach anti-racism but it won’t make a difference to some people’: Exeter students assaulted in racist coronavirus attacks

The assailants referenced the coronavirus during the attacks

Two students from the University of Exeter have been assaulted in racist attacks over the Coronavirus outbreak.

Louis San Antonio, and another student who has asked to remain anonymous, were assaulted on their way back from clubs, in two separate attacks. In both incidences, the coronavirus outbreak was mentioned.

Louis was walking back from Unit 1 when a group of young men started shouting racial slurs at him, and one tried to grab him. He ran away after telling them he didn’t want any trouble.

Louis told The Exeter Tab: “We all preach anti racism and that but at the end of the day, it won’t make a difference to some people. I think what people lack is the awareness about the virus. Because fear is taking the best of their judgement, it’s a bit pathetic and sad really. Coming from a Russell group uni, to be so small minded about something that social media has blown out of proportion.”

He added: “I think more than anything, the Uni should be preaching to students and locals about the virus itself rather than the roots and causes of it. People need to understand the magnitude and scale of the virus itself more than anything.”

In a similar incident, the other student was attacked outside Timepiece, where he describes being “punched, kicked, spat at” and “racially abused”.

In a post on the Facebook page Overheard at Exeter, he writes: “I was jumped by four white males (one with a knife) on Castle street outside TP at around 8:30pm last night. I was punched, kicked, spat at and worse of all racially abused.”

He continues: “I’m writing this to bring light to the racism that’s been increasingly present due to the Coronavirus, as this was also commented on by those who attacked me.”

He adds that there were around 30 girls who witnessed the attacked but did nothing and told him to go away when he tried to ask for help.

This comes after East Asian student Jonathan Mok was attacked in London, causing injury to his right eye, with the assailants referencing the coronavirus.

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