- 15 Feb 23
Varsa Joseph speaks to Hot Press about the incident which occurred at the Broadstone Luas stop on February 1st.
Before the Bank Holiday weekend (February 1st), a group of TU Dublin students were racially attacked by a group of teenagers at the Broadstone luas stop.
Describing the age range as between 13 and 15, the students were subjected to racial slurs, eggs thrown at them, their hair pulled, physical pushing as well as being spat on.
After consulting the Garda, allegedly the police had already received reports about this group "yet offered no help in the situation", journalist Ashley Chadamoyo noted.
Users on Twitter called on TU Dublin to take action to provide safety for its students on campus, urgently tackling racism and violence against students from diverse backgrounds.
A group of TUD students were racially attacked by a group of teenagers at the Broadstone - DIT luas stop the other day. They had eggs thrown at them, were called racial slurs, spat on, had their hair pulled and pushed. pic.twitter.com/kGARRFv5Lj
— Ashley Thee Hot Girl Journalist (@ashleychadamoyo) February 2, 2023
Responding in a statement to the video tweeted on February 2nd, TU Dublin
"TU Dublin strives to make our campus a safe, welcoming environment for all to learn and work. We are saddened and shocked that this happened to our students as they made their way home from college. We will post some links below with information on where students can get support, including our counselling service, and we will also send out a reminder email to all students and staff on these services today.
"Regarding security and safety at the Luas Stop in Broadstone, we have been liaising with the relevant authorities, including An Garda Síochána. We will contact them again following this distressing incident to request that a robust policing plan for the Broadstone area be produced and implemented urgently. We would also invite the students affected to email [email protected] to arrange a meeting to share their experience and what help and support TU Dublin can offer to anyone that experiences an upsetting incident like this."
One of the students who experienced the disturbing attack spoke to Hot Press over the weekend.
"I am speaking on behalf of myself and my friends who were involved in an incident," Varsa Joseph said. "It started while we were waiting for our Luas back to city centre after a society event, between approximately 9pm-9:30pm on the 1st of February 2023. The teenagers were on the other side of the tracks and were walking down from the Grangegorman side, and noticed us. They started throwing racial slurs at us telling us to 'go back to our own country', etc. A person of colour and her Irish friend came to defend us immediately and they began throwing eggs in our direction.
"Luckily, they didn’t hit anyone at that point. They went away for five minutes and came back with more eggs. The teenaged boys started approaching us and us girls walked away while the guys in our group stayed put. They began intimidating us, throwing more racial slurs, and threatening us as we were taking pictures and videos for proof," Varsa continued.
"One of the teenage boys turned to me and asked, 'What the f**k are you looking at' and I defended myself talking back. At this stage, all the teenagers crossed the tracks and were intimidating and threatening us and we continued to defend ourselves with words. They began throwing eggs at us once again. When the Luas came, we were making our way in while all this continued. The racial slurs were escalating. As we were stepping in through the doors, they proceeded to kick and shove a few of our girls and one of the teenage girls yanked my friend's hair back to a point where she nearly fell backwards. We continued going inside and the teenager boys egged a few of us while in the Luas, spat on us and left. One boy also punched my friend in the eye."
Varsa Joseph described the vulnerable situation they were left in, stating that no one who was not a person of colour defended them at the Luas stop, despite there being many witnesses.
"We were left feeling completely isolated as none of the MANY non-POCs (including other students and adults) stood up for us," she offers. "This happens very often where we expect and hope that a non-POC will stand up for us and intervene in situations like this, but nothing was done which was extremely disappointing. One non-POC on the Luas who was not involved told us that she rang the Gardai which we really appreciated her for. During the course of the entire situation, we did not once defend ourselves by using any physical assault whatsoever.
"We felt as though we had nothing to defend ourselves with but words," she says. "This situation was so frustrating and frightening for my friends as we experience issues like this every day, and it had gotten to an extent which we couldn't tolerate. Many other students, particularly POCs, feel extremely unsafe crossing and simply existing around that particular area near college, and so many students have experienced similar situations like this. No action is being taken. We also feel very upset that the Gardaí took no action whatsoever to protect us. I called them approximately 10 minutes after the incident addressing them of the details, to which they responded, 'Did you leave?' and 'We got some calls earlier on as well about this'. The fact that the Gardaí knew about the incident and didn't fulfil their obligation to protect us was extremely disheartening for us."
The responsibility is on the university itself and An Garda Síochána to protect the students, but immediate changes must be made to ensure this incident isn't repeated.
"Following this incident and the uproar on social media from POCs and students, I would definitely like to see some action being taken," Varsa urges. "TU Dublin should ensure that there are some measures put in place to protect its students. Whether that be placing security guards around these areas, or something else that may be beneficial for our safety. We would like the authorities of TU Dublin to reach out to and demand proper protection from the Gardaí going forward, as they have the platform to do so.
"We also realised that the Grangegorman campus is a very open space, with not only students but other members as well that use the facilities there. As great as this fact is, it can also be a disadvantage, as the campus is open to these young teenagers that can be a threat to students. Access should be restricted to these youngsters, and appropriate measures should be placed by TU Dublin authorities."
Visit Irish Network Against Racism for more information.
Parents how are you raising your kids? To love and embrace diversity or be racist sh*ts?
Racism impacts on one's mental health and it Kills.
Enough! Be proactive against racism. https://t.co/dCoHUVjfgG
— 🏳️⚧️ Rose Marie Maughan 🏳️⚧️ (@Minceirbeoir) February 3, 2023
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