Swastikas and racist graffiti found spraypainted on trees in South Vancouver park

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      During February, numerous events for the Lunar New Year and Black History Month raised awaress in Vancouver about the city's diverse populations.

      However, discrimination continues to persist and one of the latest examples arose this weekend.

      The Vancouver Park Board released a statement today (February 28) denouncing racist graffiti found in a park in the South Vancouver area.

      The Vancouver Park Board said that its members are “heartbroken and enraged” after several trees in Riverview Park, located at 1751 West 66th Avenue at Angus Drive in Marpole, were found with swastikas and the words “white power” spray-painted on at least eight trees on February 27.

      Both the City of Vancouver and the park board “condemn these abhorrent acts of racism in the strongest possible terms” and that these messages won’t be excused or tolerated.

      The park board extended their regrets to anyone who visited the park and were exposed to the messages.

      Park crews are in the process of removing the graffiti.

      “We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous, Black, racialized and Jewish communities targeted by these messages,” the park board said. “These messages are intended to create shock, fear and division.”

      The park board also acknowledged that these acts disrespect the “natural world on the Musqueam territory”.

      Anyone who has information relevant to this case is asked to call 311, to be connected to the Vancouver Police Department or the equity office of the City of Vancouver.

      During the pandemic, Vancouver has experienced a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes. The Vancouver Police Department reported this month that anti-Asian hate crimes jumped up by 717 percent in 2020. 

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.