Oxford University, one of the world's most prestigious and the alma mater of Theresa May has removed a portrait of the British Prime Minister from a wall displaying the institution's notable alumni.
The picture of Mrs. May, who studied geography at Saint Hugh's College was taken down after protests from a student group calling itself "Not All Geographers" which took issue with the Prime Minister's immigration policies, in particular, the "hostile environment" policy enacted by Mrs. May while she was the Home Secretary.
After all the suffering that May has caused? She had elderly Brits locked up in detention centres for the terrible crimes of not having enough paperwork. That's nothing to celebrate.— (((Tea Junkie)))🌹 (@TeaJunkie1) May 9, 2018
The photo has not been vandalized.— Charles Daniels (@ukoddball) May 8, 2018
There have been additional pieces of paper hung up on the wall.
Likely with blue tack.
Where is the vandalism? pic.twitter.com/e2mT9iXBxo
Theresa May is an awful choice of human being to celebrate. There are so many better alumni to laud.— Eat Dorset Mick Nosh (@eatdorset) May 8, 2018
We didn’t elect her in though? Even the snap election didn’t elect her in, she had to bribe the DUP! There are many women who get to the tops of their professions? She clearly doesn’t inspire people’s respect. Is this a dictatorship now? They are upset like many of us are!— Clare Reeve 🌹👩🏽👱🏻♀️👵🏼🧕🏼👧🏻 (@Clare_Jennifer) May 8, 2018
While the student group has its supporters online, the move has also elicited significant criticism, with accusations of the activists selectively targeting the Prime Minister and taking the University to task for giving in to the students' demands.
She’s an alumni, democratically elected by the people of Britain.
Shame on you. #PutThePortraitBack
An alumnus who became the second only female PM and you don’t think you should celebrate this due to your particular political views? Grow up.— David Niblett (@david_niblett) May 8, 2018
Vandalism isn't speech— micky johnston (@mickyjohnston39) May 8, 2018
In recent years, student activism around the world has become more vocal in relation to removing statues and portraits from university spaces of figures who had an objectionable influence, such as Confederate Generals in the Southern United States and British statesman Cecil Rhodes in South Africa.
The Windrush Scandal involved British resident and their children and grandchildren who immigrated to Britain from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, East Africa and India in the 1970s and who found themselves threatened with deportation by the policies introduced by then Home Secretary May to make it as difficult as possible for illegal immigrants to remain in the UK.