Heavy police presence outside @CityOfVictoria as protestors and supporters engage in public discussion and protest over the removal of the John A. Mcdonald statue @CHEK_News pic.twitter.com/x3GUzYRiBx— Kori Sidaway (@korisidaway) August 11, 2018
Members of the controversial group Soldiers of Odin also arrived, voicing their disagreement with the move. “We’re just here promoting free speech. I don’t think people are very happy having the statue removed in the middle of the night…I think the public should have had a say in this. This is part of Canadian history, like it or not, forget history and it’s doomed to repeat itself,” said Conrad of the Soldiers of Odin. For Helps, while the ripples of this decision have made national headlines, this remains a local issue. ‘This isn’t the call to action to remove all statues of Sir John A. Macdonald statues across the country,” said Helps. “If it’s a call to action about anything it’s to deepen the relationship between the cities and the local First Nations on whose territories the cities stand.” A plaque explaining why the statue was taken down, how it happened, and a link to more information is in the process of replacing the statue until a more permanent fixture is in place.