Montreal Sir John A. Macdonald statue defaced ahead of anti-racism demonstration

People take part in a demonstration against racism in Montreal, Sunday, October 7, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

MONTREAL - A downtown Montreal statue of Sir John A. Macdonald has been spray-painted red, only hours before the start of a demonstration to denounce racism and the newly-elected Coalition Avenir Quebec government.

An anonymous group of anti-colonial, anti-capitalist activists are claiming responsibility for the damage, which police say occurred Saturday night.

The group said in a news release that it wasn't involved in organizing today's demonstration but wanted to support the event by defacing the statue of Macdonald, who they describe as a white supremacist who contributed to the genocide of Indigenous peoples.

In 1883, Macdonald argued in the Commons for the removal of Indigenous children from their "savage'' parents so they could learn the ways of white men.

The Montreal statue has been spray-painted on several previous occasions, including this past August.

Some 50 groups have said they'll take part in Sunday's demonstration to protest racism as well as premier-elect Francois Legault's plan to cut immigration and expel new arrivals who don't pass a French and values test within three years of arrival.

Protesters hang a banner reading
Protesters hang a banner reading "Decolonize" in front of the the Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Montreal Quebec on Nov. 11, 2017.

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