Mural against 'white supremacy' vandalized for 3rd time in Montreal
Published Monday, October 9, 2017 6:24PM EDT
A mural in Montreal that speaks out against “white supremacy” has been defaced for a third time.
The mural, created by Colombian-American artist Jessica Saboga and located in the Saint-Henri neighbourhood, shows an Indigenous woman with the accompanying words: “White supremacy is killing me.”
The mural was created as part of “Unceded Voices” street art created to “promote anticolonial resistance.”
The artists hoped they would improve the relationship between Indigenous people and the broader community. But when the mural was seen with red paint splattered all over it, the community was shocked it had been vandalized for the third time in three months.
“It’s 2017 and it’s tragic that we still have to deal with stuff like this. People have to understand that we’re all the same. We’re all in this together,” one local resident told CTV Montreal.
“It shows ignorance in the area. It doesn’t seem right,” added another resident.
According to South West Borough Councilor Craig Sauve, the vandalism is just another sign that more dialogue is needed.
“Housing, clean drinking water, I mean these are things that would have to be dealt with immediately and were hearing from Indigenous communities more and more. That’s a good thing. So I think we should be going towards them and speaking and not vandalizing art,” he said.
However, vandalism has been a persistent problem in the area. This past summer a restaurant was broken into and covered in paint for the second time.
“There should be police patrolling in the neighbourhood to try to catch them,” said St. Henri resident Yves Lavoie, who has also been a victim of vandalism.
Lavoie thinks there should be educational programs in schools that would focus on preventing the vandalism rather than just cleaning it up.
“They should tackle the issue at the source,” he said. “I think we should talk to the kids very early and tell them vandalizing a property is not nice and we all end up paying for it.”
The Borough told CTV Montreal it has invested $500 to apply an anti-tag material on the mural and they have plans to plant vines and bushes in front of the wall to prevent it.
“The more walls we are able to green, that will be sustainable in the future, and those walls will be protected by vines because those taggers don’t tag on top of plants usually. So that’s our strategy long-term,” said Sauve.
In the meantime locals hope that people will start respecting the neighbourhood and the different cultures within it.
With files from CTV Montreal’s Amanda Kline