PEI

Pride vandalism incidents a 'hate message' that should not be tolerated, says group

There have been too many incidents of Pride flags stolen and torn in recent months, says Pride P.E.I., and the group has issued a letter about the potential of growing hate.

There is a problem on P.E.I., says open letter

The Pride steps have since been restored. (St. Paul's Anglican Church/Facebook)

There have been too many incidents of Pride flags stolen and torn in recent months, says Pride P.E.I., and the group has issued a letter about the potential of growing hate.

In June, a number of Pride flags were stolen in Victoria, flags were taken from businesses in Stratford and Cornwall last month, and last week a Pride display on church office steps in Charlottetown was removed.

"Any one of those incidents, you kind of go, 'Oh, that's unfortunate vandalism,' but taken as a whole it was pretty excessive," said Dave Stewart, co-chair of Pride P.E.I.

"We're looking for people to be aware and to be vigilant, and not tolerate this kind of, you know, hate message."

The number of incidents this year is unusual, he said.

'The community is concerned'

Pride P.E.I. has published an open letter, addressed to officials in all three levels of government and Island police departments, asking that this increasing number of hate-based incidents against the community be recognized as serious and that action be taken.

There is a problem on P.E.I., the letter says, and it needs to be rooted out to prevent it from spreading further.

"We needed to get this on the record that the community is concerned and we do not want it to continue," said Stewart.

"Our concern always is that this might lead to more excessive things, hopefully not culminating in some violence."

The letter was made public to rally the community and its allies, he said.

The letter was sent out Friday, and Stewart said the organization will wait for responses over the next few days.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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