UPDATED 3:10 PM PT – Saturday, July 3, 2021
Statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II have been knocked down by protesters in Canada. On a day the country has commemorated as Canada Day, the statues were taken down amid mounting anger over the deaths of indigenous children at residential schools.
The statue of Queen Victoria was covered in red paint and handprints, with its head fully removed. Several celebrations of the country’s founding were muted on Thursday after the discovery of nearly 1,000 unmarked graves at former residential schools.
— Raquel Dancho (@RaquelDancho) July 2, 2021
“I don’t think it’s helpful to turn these things into violence or whether that’s damaging property or violence against other people,” Chief Danny Smyth of Winnipeg Police Service expressed. “So, you know, we take great pride in Canada of being able to protest, our right to protest, and certainly the police facilitate that all the time.”
Several other protests and vigils were also held across the country.