November 01, 2020
People look at the More Justice More Peace Mural created by 17 artists on display to raise awareness of injustices suffered by Black and Indigenous people and other people of colour at Bastion Square in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 28, 2020. Victoria police are looking for a suspect after a controversial mural was found vandalized with spray paint Saturday morning. CHAD HIPOLITO / THE CANADIAN PRESS
By The Canadian Press
Victoria police are looking for a suspect after a controversial mural was found vandalized with spray paint Saturday morning.
They say witnesses reported seeing a suspect arrive on a red-and-white motorcycle before spray-painting over a letter in the “More Justice, More Peace” mural that had recently been updated with a statement from the artists.
The artists covered the letter “S” with black and added a message that read: “This letter has been censored by the City of Victoria influenced by the Victoria Police Department. In doing so, Victoria is contributing to the silencing of Black and Indigenous voices and experiences across this land.”
Victoria Police Chief Del Manak said in a statement that the change is as offensive, if not more so, than the original anti-police rhetoric in the initial artwork.
The city-sponsored mural became the center of controversy earlier this year because it included the acronym ACAB, which is commonly held to mean “All Cops Are Bastards’’ or ”All Cops Are Bad.“
A Victoria city official is calling on everyone to respect public art.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 31, 2020.