It’s the second time in a week the walkway has been targeted by vandals
Vandals in Airdrie attempted to tar and feather that community’s Pride walkway in Nose Creek Park sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
Photos of the damage were posted on social media Saturday by the Airdrie Pride Society.
“Airdrie Pride was extremely disheartened to find out this morning, that the rainbow path was once again vandalized,” read the message posted on Airdrie Pride’s Facebook group.
The tar appears to have been applied with a brush or trowel before feathers were dumped on the tar.
Tarring and feathering is a form of public shaming or sometimes torture when done to a person. It has roots dating back to feudal Europe.
Candice Kutyn, vice-president of the Airdrie Pride Society, said this was the second time in a week the walkway had been vandalized.
“Last week, there was some spray-painted graffiti with homophobic as well as racist language in it,” she said.
Members of the community got together on Monday to repaint the crosswalk.
“It was a really beautiful outpouring of drowning out the hate,” she said. “We know that there is support in Airdrie and we saw that last year with our first Pride festival. The fact of the matter is, hate screams pretty loud.”
By midday on Saturday, crews from the City of Airdrie were on-site to clean up the mess, but Kutyn said it would still have to be repainted. She said the city sent out a special crew to do the work on a weekend and that the city, mayor and councillors have been supportive of Pride in Airdrie.
Kutyn noted the vandalism is happening during Pride month and concurrently with multiple Black Lives Matter protests all over the world. She said the graffiti last week contained racist language and swastikas, suggesting the vandals had much wider prejudices, targeting more than the LGBTQ community.
“We really want to make it known that it’s not only the LGBTQ+ community that’s being impacted by this, but it’s a much larger issue,” Kutyn.
“Racism and hatred are alive and well in Alberta.”
She said each repainting costs the Airdrie Pride Society about $300, and that takes away from other programming the group hosts in the city.
Airdrie Pride posted an email where donations can be made. At least two Calgary businesses have stepped up to cover the costs almost immediately.
Outcast Brewing wired a $300 donation to Airdrie Pride. That donation was then matched by Build Studio.
Airdrie RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects, and are asking for any surveillance footage from the area between 3 p.m on June 19 and 11 a.m. on June 20, and also from 10 p.m. Friday to 11 a.m. Saturday. Witnesses are asked to call the RCMP at 403-945-7267.
Anonymous tips can be submitted via Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
On Twitter: @brodie_thomas