A statue of Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John Macdonald was overthrown in downtown Montreal by protesters who marched in support of defusing police, government officials said.
The incident occurred at the end of a peaceful march on Saturday when a group of people climbed the memorial and pulled the statue down, causing the head to fly off. This is evident from a video posted on social media.
After a spate of violent incidents involving the police, calls for police relief have risen in the United States and Canada. The death of George Floyd, a black man, while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department in May sparked global protests against racial inequality and police brutality, and renewed pledges to fight racism.
In June, a video showing the violent arrest of a Canadian Indigenous leader by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raised questions about the use of force by the police.
The statue of Macdonald has been the site of repeated graffiti acts in recent years and has often been covered in red paint.
The incident on Saturday was quickly condemned by political leaders.
“Whatever you think of John A. Macdonald, destroying a monument in this way is unacceptable,” Quebec Prime Minister Francois Legault said in a tweet. “We have to fight racism, but destroying parts of our history is not the solution.”
Newly-elected chairman of the main Conservative Party of Canada, Erin O’Toole, said: “We will not build a better future by defacing our past.”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)