Jul 19, 2020
By Gavin Day
Black Lives Matter Toronto leaders addressed what happened Saturday that saw statues defaced with bright pink pain at Queen’s Park and at Ryerson University.
They held a news conference at the foot of one of the statues defaced by protesters yesterday.
“Everyone has been calling for us to stop glorifying this genocidal, violent, white supremacist leader,” said activist Syrus Marcus Ware referring to Ryerson.
“Everybody is saying he is responsible for the residential school system. Why would you want to keep a monument to that?”
Three people were held in custody for hours after statues to Ryerson, Sir John A. MacDonald and King Edward VII were covered in bright pink paint.
Advocates have called for the removal of the statues they say are symbols of white supremacy and anti-Black racism.
Black lives matter co-founder Rodney Diverlus says removal of statues, defunding police and redirecting some of the police budget money to community programs would help with reconciliation efforts.
Police say the three arrested yesterday weren’t released because they didn’t want to sign a promise to appear in court. Advocates say police didn’t allow the three to meet with their lawyers.
They’re slated to have a court date in September.