Oct 09, 2017
An “angry” Windsor activist spent his Thanksgiving weekend trudging across the city painting over racist and anti-Islamic graffiti.
Jon Liedtke said he pulled out his own paint and brushes after learning about the graffiti on his social media feeds.
Racist and anti-Islamic graffiti appeared at several locations across Windsor on the weekend. An angry Jon Liedtke, who learned of the graffiti on social media, grabbed paint and brush and covered the signs, including this one on a hydro box on Huron Church Road. PHOTO BY COURTESY OF JON LIEDTKE
“I just woke up angry seeing this stuff in my news feed, so I went out to find it and just covered it up,” he said. “It’s despicable.
“This is the work of a coward who clearly believes in a vile and vitriolic ideology. He’s espousing hate. This divides the community, it separates people and it’s intentionally targeting a minority, which is reprehensible. It needs to be stopped. It needs to be combatted.”
The graffiti included messages such as “Islam means surrender” and “Islam=Isis.” It was painted or scrawled on sidewalks and overpasses, garbage cans, hydro boxes, several areas at Mic Mac Park, a bus depot on College Avenue and a large signboard at the former tourism centre on Huron Church Road.
Liedtke said there were also some swastikas scattered around.
“I’m Jewish, so we’ve always dealt with swastikas throughout the community,” he said. “Every couple years one springs up. But I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve never seen a campaign of hatred that’s ongoing and throughout the city. This is a dedicated (expletive).”
Liedtke said he has reported it to Windsor police. A couple other people who joined him at different points over the weekend also called police, he said.
In total, he covered up between 10 and 15 pieces of graffiti.
“This needs to be a conversation, I think city leadership needs to be involved, police need to be involved and this needs to be stopped,” said Liedtke. “They need to stamp out this hatred. We can’t allow our brothers and sisters in minority groups to be marginalized and pushed off to the fringes of our society. We are Windsor, we’re the fourth most ethnically diverse city in the country and this is unacceptable.”