Victoria’s mayor calls the latest act of vandalism towards a downtown mural a disappointment.
Over the weekend the More Justice, More Peace mural in Bastion Square was vandalized shortly after the “S” had been repainted.
Organizers had repainted the “S” because it contained the acronym ACAB, which stands for All Cops Are Bastards. Victoria police say witnesses saw a man arrive on a motorcycle, paint over the newly written words on the “S” and leave the area on Halloween morning.
On Monday, Mayor Lisa Helps issued a statement condemning the vandalism, calling it disappointing.
“It was disappointing to see the vandalism of the More Justice, More Peace mural over the weekend. This is a very challenging situation. There are very difficult conversations that have been happening regarding the systemic racism that exists in our city. And these difficult conversations will continue to happen,” said Helps.
The newly painted “S” had featured a white feather and the words “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.”
“The new language in the mural fits within the city’s public art policy and is a reflection of the artists’ experience of the past few weeks and months. Vandalism of art in public places is not acceptable,” Helps said in her statement.
Victoria’s mayor also said the incident only shows that there is a lot more work ahead.
“What this situation reveals is that we have a lot of work to do as a city – city administration, city council, police department and other institutions in the city – to address systemic racism and to listen to the voices that have been historically marginalized and that continue to be marginalized,” said Helps.
Helps added that the city will be developing a “Welcoming City Strategy” to ensure Victoria “is welcoming and safe for everyone.”
“This will be a good way to continue these important conversations, just as the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues have helped to build trust, understanding and connection between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” said Helps.