Calgary

'A direct attack': Pride crosswalks in Lethbridge left with tire marks days before festivities

Two crosswalks painted bright colours for pride festivities in Lethbridge were left a little darker this week as the southern Alberta community ramps up for its ninth annual celebrations.

It comes after similar incident at the Saskatoon Pride Festival earlier this month

This is what the rainbow and transgender flag crosswalks looked like in Lethbridge, Alta., after a street sweeper tried to clean up visible tire marks from Monday night. (Lethbridge Pride Fest)

Two crosswalks painted bright colours for pride festivities in Lethbridge were left a little darker this week as the southern Alberta community ramps up for its ninth annual celebrations.

Visible skid marks could be seen on the transgender flag and rainbow flag that donned on streets of the southern Alberta city in the late night hours Monday.  

"These marks are blatantly deliberate, and nearly identical to a similar incident in Saskatoon earlier this month," said Lethbridge Pride Fest in a release.

"This is a direct attack on the LGBTQ+ community and specifically the transgender community."

A street sweeper attempted to wash away the marks before the morning.

"Unfortunately, the marks are still visible, but our spirits are higher than ever. This will not bring us down," said the organization's release.

City crews are expected to touch up the crosswalks — which were also slightly damaged after heavy rainfall in the area — a few days before the march.

'A symbol of unity as well as respect'

Lethbridge police say the incident had not been reported as of Tuesday afternoon, but Pride Fest board chair Devon Hargreaves said they were trying to connect with them.

He says the community is trying to focus on the positive and move on.

"We don't want to focus on the negative," he said. "The purpose of the crosswalks in the first place is to be a symbol of unity as well as respect."

Hargreaves said this will not dampen their spirits, just as they didn't in Saskatoon.

"They indicated to us that it helped bring their pride community stronger together," he said.

Lethbridge Pride festivities start this week, with a pride flag raising planned at City Hall on Monday, and runs until the pride parade on June 24. 

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