Vandals have spray-painted several buildings in Winnipeg during Tuesday night. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the local RCMP Headquarters and Liberal MP Dan Vandal’s office. All of the messages were pointed towards the ongoing protests of the proposed Coastal GasLink pipeline.
Liberal MP Dan Vandal’s office had the phrases “Stolen land,” “Shut down KKKanada” and “land back” all written in graffiti .
The RCMP monument dedicated to mounties who’d died in the line of duty was also vandalized with the words “F–k RCMP”. The monument is located outside the RCMP “D” Division headquarters on Portage Avenue.
The monument was erected in 1998 and cost $100,000, of the money was raised through fundraising and by employee donations.
RCMP spokesperson, Sgt. Paul Manaigre described the general reaction of the officers as shocked after seeing the defaced monument. “Anger sets in afterwards,” he said.
“We understand … if you want to send a message. But I’m not sure why you would want to target a monument that honours those that gave their lives for the people in this province.”
“It’s upsetting,” he said.
All three acts of vandalism are being investigated as related incidents according to Winnipeg police spokesman Rob Carver. Winnipeg police will be taking on the case with the help of security footage provided by the RCMP. Carver has yet to name any suspects in the case, according to CBC.
The vandalism could potentially be a response to the 10 protestors arrested near Belleville, Ont. on Monday at a rail blockade.
“I do know the group Indigenous Youth and Allies for Wet’suwet’en only [acts] out of a place of peace and love for the land and land protectors,” wrote a member of the Winnipeg group that supports the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights had the question, “Is this the future you want?” graffitied on the wall in red paint.
“To be honest, my first instinct was a little of blood boils,” he said. “But our mandate is to cultivate reflection, and as we think about it, I think this is a reflection of a very important conversation that is going on in Canada,” said John Young, the museum’s chief executive officer.
“This is something that we need to wrestle with better as Canadians, the realities of colonization,” he said.
“I don’t condone graffiti, but I think … we need to recognize this is an effort to make expression.”
Graffiti painted on Liberal MP Vandal’s office read, “stolen land,” “U fail us” and “do better.” Vandal is the federal minister of Northern Affairs.
“It’s disappointing when that happens, because the way out of this issue is through dialogue — not vandalizing something or violence,” he said. Vandal is also the minister of Northern Affairs. “We need to talk to one another, and we need to set the right stage and the right table for that.”
President of the Manitoba Metis Federation, David Chartrand, said in a written statement that he was saddened by the graffiti although not surprised.
“I challenge the people who did this, to think how they would feel if someone broke into a graveyard at night and did this to a relative’s headstone or gravesite,” he wrote.
“People who commit violent acts and vandalize property will never represent nor receive support from the Métis Nation or other democratically elected Indigenous governments.”