VicPD have released photos of two suspects that allegedly took part in the vandalization of the Captain James Cook statue, which was torn down and thrown into the waters of the Inner Harbour Thursday night.
The destruction followed an anti-colonial protest on the Legislature grounds amid the discovery and investigations into unmarked graves at residential schools around Canada.
The statue of the British explorer, which stood in front of the Empress Hotel, was destroyed around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 1st.
Protestors smeared red paint and red handprints on the pedestal and erected a wooden red dress to replace Cook’s statue.
More wooden red dresses were erected around the site of the former statue, set up to represent missing and murdered indigenous women.
— Climate Justice Victoria 🌅 (@CJusticeVic) July 2, 2021
Captain James Cook statue in Victoria, BC. This was moments before his body was sunk in the Salish Sea by Nuu Chah Nulth Youth and friends. The city of Victoria should remove all monuments that celebrate settler colonialism. NO PRIDE IN GENOCIDE! pic.twitter.com/mffbRPiYJ4
— Siiam Hamilton (@siiamhamilton) July 2, 2021
“Safe, peaceful and lawful protests are permitted under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” police said in a statement Friday morning.
“Property damage is not.”
While police say several suspects are sought, they two provided photos of two people they believe are suspects.
Several suspects sought after Captain Cook statue damaged last night. Here are 2 of them. Safe, peaceful & lawful protest is enshrined in the Charter of Rights & Freedoms. Property Damage is not. Recognize them? Call (250) 995-7654 ext 1. | #yyj https://t.co/TCwrM6QYDU pic.twitter.com/WLtqJNOf5b
— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) July 2, 2021
Anyone with information or video is asked to call Victoria police at 250-995-7654 or Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.