Protesters calling for an end to police brutality and anti-Black racism defaced statues outside the Ontario legislature Saturday morning.
According to Toronto police, around 30 to 40 people gathered in Queen’s Park around 9:30 a.m.
By 10 a.m., officers say the group had dumped containers of pink paint over a statue of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
A nearby statue of Egerton Ryerson, a public education advocate, was also painted Saturday morning.
Both figures have been criticized for their historical role in Canada’s residential school system.
Attendees called for police defunding and an end to systemic racism.
Although officers appealed for calm and asked protesters to remain peaceful, other things in the park were spray painted before the group dispersed just after 11 a.m.
Police haven’t released the names of anyone who was arrested, nor have they said what charges, if any, they will face.
Queen’s Park Cres W + Wellesley St W
– the demonstration has now finished
– demonstrators have dispersed
– no additional information#GO1333114
— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) July 18, 2020
Mean time, a Twitter account associated with Toronto’s Black Lives Matter movement shared a photo of one of the painted statues.
According to the tweets, three people were arrested during the “peaceful action” but “were not told of their crime.”
3 attendees of a peaceful action were arrested this morning while calling to defund the police. They were not told of their crime.
What did we do? We posted banners. We painted statues. We called to defund the system that targets us.#DefundThePolice #FreeThemNow #topoli #onpoli pic.twitter.com/JY5sUR9lw6
— Black Lives Matter — Toronto (@BLM_TO) July 18, 2020
Photo courtesy of Google Maps Street View