Hong Kong activist thrown out of Sheffield SU for telling Chinese student ‘you are like Hitler’
He was escorted by security
A Hong Kong activist was thrown out of Sheffield SU after branding a Chinese student “like Hitler”.
The University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union was holding its bi-weekly gathering of SU officers and councillors on Thursday night when the furious row broke out.
It is understood that SU officers mistook the student’s words for “Heil Hitler”, prompting them to call for security and demand that he be removed.
An internal investigation has been ordered into the affair, councillors said.
The heated exchange took place during a packed debate in Foundry for a motion in support of Hong Kong protests.
All phones were banned from the council meeting amid high security presence, after escalating tensions in recent months between Chinese and Hong Kong students on campus.
A student councillor opposing the motion, representing the Chinese Students’ and Scholars Association, rose from his seat and made a speech about China’s relationship with the province of Taiwan.
But it enraged a Taiwanese philosophy student present in the public gallery, usually empty during Council meetings, but packed by dozens of Chinese and Hong Kong students for this debate.
The 20 year-old, who wished not to be named, told The Tab Sheffield: “I interrupted him halfway in his speech and shouted, ‘You are like Hitler!’”, prompting security guards to escort him away.
He said he launched the tirade after feeling “repulsed, and believing that his speech is in direct attack of the democratic values that the university and SU shared”.
He explained: “His speech was claiming that ethical assimilation and pursuit of a single cultural goal was what they believed to be right in China, a tradition ‘lost in the West’, which to me sounded awfully like the fascist ideology in Nazi Germany.”
The meeting was brought to an immediate halt as outraged Chinese students protested the student’s presence.
“Unfortunately, some of the councillors sitting at the front of the room misheard my words and thought I was saying ‘Heil Hitler’, and asked for my immediate removal,” the student told The Tab Sheffield.
“I was swiftly escorted out of the room by two security guards under the thunderous claps of the Chinese observers. I was banned from re-entering the SU building for the rest of the day.”
The motion was later passed by a two-thirds majority, demanding that university make a public statement in support of Hong Kong students, and meaning the SU will now formally back Hong Kong protesters.
Violent scuffles between pro-democracy activists and Chinese police in Hong Kong have spiralled into their eighth month, with protesters accusing Communist China of attacking the independence of the region.
Last month Sheffield University urged its exchange students in Hong Kong to return home “urgently” over fears for their safety.
Sheffield SU did not respond when approached for comment.