Pride flag flies in solidarity at City of Vancouver after UBC flag burning
'Hate has no place in our community,' tweeted Mayor Gregor Robertson's office
The City of Vancouver raised its rainbow pride flag in solidarity Wednesday, after the pride flag hoisted in celebration of OUTweek at the University of B.C. was burned on the weekend.
The gesture was made at Mayor Gregor Robertson's request, according to a tweet from his office.
"Hate has no place our community," the mayor's office tweeted.
On <a href="https://twitter.com/MayorGregor">@MayorGregor</a>'s request, the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pride?src=hash">#Pride</a> flag will fly today at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vancouver?src=hash">#Vancouver</a> City Hall in solidarity w/ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UBC?src=hash">#UBC</a>. Hate has no place in our community.—@VanMayorsOffice
The Pride Collective at UBC, which organizes OUTweek, cancelled a parade in support of transgender people scheduled for today, and added security precautions to other events.
"Pride has had a history of being targeted by discriminatory violence and the burning of the flag is one that we are incredibly shocked and upset by," said the group in a statement on Facebook.
RCMP looking for witnesses
RCMP called the flag burning a "fairly disturbing incident," and are investigating along with campus security.
The flag was burned sometime over the long weekend but just reported to police yesterday, at which point there was nothing left of the flag but brass rings, he said.
"We're not sure what motivated this crime, whether it is simple mischief or hate motivated," said Grainger.
There does not appear to be any video surveillance of the area near the Student Union Building, but police are following other leads, including a very vague, third-hand description of a person of interest, which investigators are working to find.
"We have identified a possible person of interest, someone we want to talk to who may have been in the area at the time."
'It made me feel unsafe'
Grainger said the RCMP were not involved in the Pride Collective's decision to cancel the parade and don't believe there is a threat.
"Where the investigation stands right now, I suggest there is no threat to public safety or security to any students or staff who are on campus here."
Coordinators with the Pride Collective called the burning a "violent act" that made their members decide against being involved in the public parade.
"Members of the pride collective right now are feeling unsafe. Whether there's any reason for that or not doesn't necessarily matter," said Rachel Garrett, a coordinator with the group.
"I would have to say that it made me feel unsafe ... but as to the actual state of safety on campus, I can't really make any comment," said Allison Marlyn, another coordinator.
Overall, reaction on campus has been very supportive and helpful following the burning, said Garrett.