Peaceful protesters call for removal of Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Baden, Ont.
BADEN -- Peaceful protesters are calling on the removal of the Sir John A. Macdonald statue in Baden, Ont. after it was covered in red paint three times in the past week.
The group performed a sit in on Saturday at the statue of Canada’s first prime minster, but was disrupted at one point.
“I could hear a white man raising his voice and trying to intentionally disrupt an Indigenous woman speaking,” said sit in attendee Jessica Hutchinson. “I knew right then I wanted to record.”
The man reportedly became violent after disagreeing with a statement made by those participating.
Hutchinson says she has shared the video of the disruption with police.
“This is exactly why the protest is happening,” she said. “The continued silencing of Indigenous voices.”
The group is asking for the statue to be removed due to Macdonald’s role in establishing the residential school system.
It was last doused in red paint on Friday, but was cleaned off ahead of the sit in the following day.
However, signs detailing Canada’s first prime minister were found on the statue Saturday morning.
“I think it’s important for people to know the true history here and not just the white washed version we learned in school,” said sit in attendee John Schattman.
Schatmman, a teacher at Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary School in Waterloo, says he is hoping that the statue is taken down, or that a plaque is put up describing the full history of the prime minister.
Sculptor Timothy Schmalz agrees with adding the details, rather than removing the statue.
“We can give dignity to those concerns today, but also respect our past and our history,” he said. “Just erasing the sculpture, in a sense, you’re erasing the history, and it’s not beneficial for anyone.
“Let’s look at them, let’s have the courage to hold them, not just bury them.”
Demonstrators say they will return to the statue every Saturday starting on July 11 until it is taken down.