University of Wisconsin students organized a protest Friday following the assault of a Chinese Ph.D. student Tuesday night.
The student was walking downtown when five men approached him, according to the Madison Police incident report. He was punched, and then punched and kicked while on the ground. The men didn’t say anything to the victim or steal anything from him.
This assault is the third in a string of similar attacks in the last two weeks, the report said. While the attacks appear random, police believe they were committed by the same group of men. Surveillance photos of those responsible for these assaults have been released with the police report.
According to the report, police do not believe the batteries have been racially motivated. But UW students have pointed to the assault as the latest example in which Asian students have been racially targeted in the Madison community.
“AAPI students and alumni, such as us, of UW-Madison are disappointed and deeply disturbed by what happened to the victims. We are also disappointed that there were no WiscAlert messages about these incidents,” Jiayi Chen said in the caption of the Instagram post. “Incidents with such racist nature are not something new on campus.”
UW responded to reports Thursday recognizing the recent rise in anti-Asian violence faced by the community. Students are encouraged to reach out to UW-Madison Police Department and mental health support at University Health Services if they feel unsafe, according to the press release.
UWPD and MPD are collaborating to continue investigating the assaults, the press release said.
International Student Services condemned the violent behavior in an email statement to The Badger Herald and affirmed that international students are a key part of the university’s diversity and deserve to feel safe in the campus community.
Students organizing the two planned protests are calling for action toward ending anti-Asian racism and hate crimes in the UW community.
“The Associated Students of Madison believes the movement to #StopAsianHate is an imperative crucial to the safety of our campus,” ASM said in a press release in support of the organizers.
The second protest is planned for June 24 at 4 p.m., starting at Library Mall.