An anti-hate campaigner has slammed the mayor and police of a small Quebec village after they told him he couldn’t remove swastikas from a park, because they are part of the local history.
Corey Fleischer, the founder of Erase Hate, goes around Montreal and the surrounding areas removing hateful graffiti.
Fleischer was called to the small town Pointes-des-Cascades by a concerned citizen who wanted to paint over the Nazi symbols on an anchor that dates back to the Second World War.
The founder of a local anti-hate group was barred from removing two swastikas from a park in a small town in Quebec, Canada
Police arrived and stopped Fleischer from covering them up (pictured)
The open-air museum in the small town features dozens of historical anchors, including one with a swastikas engraved on it.
‘I decided to remove the paint around the swastika that the city had painted on this ancient World War Two anchor,’ Fleischer told CTV Montreal. ‘To have such a sign of hate in a public space is completely unacceptable.’
The local mayor, Gilles Santerre, spotted Fleischer and called the Quebec provincial police, saying the swastikas were part of local history and could not be removed.
Police then arrived and stopped Fleischer from covering them up.
There is a small plaque below the anchor but it does not give a lot of historical context.
It identifies it as a ‘souvenir of Nazism’ and says it was used in Europe at the end of War, probably on a merchant boat, and found in 1980, and therefore is not a Nazi relic.
Corey Fleischer, who goes around Montreal and the surrounding areas removing hateful graffiti, is pictured in the park with police
The mayor of Pointe-des-Cascades, Gilles Santerre, said that the symbol predates Nazism and is part of local history
The local mayor, Gilles Santerre (right), spotted Fleischer (left) and called the Quebec provincial police
‘The village of Pointe-des-Cascades does not endorse Nazism,’ said Mayor Gilles Santerre in a statement online.
‘Our village has a beautiful community and family spirit, and creates events that bring people together.’
The mayor also argued that before 1920 the swastika was a peaceful symbol.
Fleischer countered when he said: ‘There is zero place for any swastikas in any public parks, right across the world.
‘It is no longer a sign of peace. It is no longer a sign of joy.’
The village has about 1,500 people and is located about 50 miles from Montreal.
A plaque underneath the anchor describes it as a ‘souvenir of Nazism’ and says it was used in Europe at the end of War, probably on a merchant boat, and found in 1980