A University of Edinburgh Zoom event celebrating Black and LGBT+ communities was hijacked by bigots shouting racist and homophobic slurs.
Edinburgh University’s African and Caribbean Society organised the event on Sunday (14 February 2021) to coincide with Caribbean Week, only for it to be hijacked by “bigots using abhorrent homophobic and racist slurs and threats”.
The attack reportedly involved people shouting “white power”, making racist threats, and showing pornography featuring Black people. They also posted racist and homophobic slurs onto the chat, reducing at least one guest to tears.
Caribbean LGBT+ rights campaigner Jason Jones told BBC News: “This was a virtual hate crime. It was so out of the blue that there was no way of preparing for it.
“I have had a very dark and awful emotional response to it. It reduced me to tears.”
When the organisers attempted to remove the attackers from the room, they rejoined several times.
Around 50 people had been invited the the event, “Pro-Black and Anti-Gay?”, but it was not password-protected.
The event aimed to discuss the intersectionality between LGBT+ and Black oppression and how these communities can accept each other and themselves.
Organisers made a statement on Instagram saying: “We strongly condemn their actions and this attack only proved the necessity of these discussions.
“We maintain a zero-tolerance on any form of discrimination and this was a horrible occurrence that should never be repeated. This crime will be reported to higher authorities and action will be taken.”
The society added: “We are doubling our efforts to uplift the voices of more queer people of colour and other marginalised groups.
“We will never stop fighting.”
The university said it regards the attack as “a serious matter” and Zoom has reportedly begun an investigation into the event.
‘Zoombombing’, where people hijack video calls they aren’t invited to, has become an all too common tactic for bigots over the past year.
Last year, an LGBT+ activist trying to run a cooking class for her community was ‘Zoombombed’ by another racist, homophobic bigot who hurled anti-Asian and homophobic slurs at her.