Vandals defaced both lions at the foot of the Millennium Gate in Vancouver's Chinatown with racist graffiti.
Chinatown Today shared an image of the hateful graffiti on Twitter on Tuesday. In addition, @sarahwyling shared another angle of the graffiti, stating that, "Both lions were defaced."
Constable Tania Visintin, Media Relations spokesperson for the VPD, tells Vancouver Is Awesome in an email that police are aware of the racist graffiti.
"The VPD take all of these incidents very seriously and are investigating this graffiti. We are asking anyone who is the victim of any of these hate crimes or is a witness to a hate crime to contact the VPD so we can investigate," she writes.
Premier John Horgan released a statement regarding a surge in racist activity across British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic on VIctoria Day.
Horgan remarks that, “Everyone has a right to live without fear of violence or discrimination. Yet we are hearing disturbing stories of a rise in anti-Asian racist behaviour since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic."
Horgan adds that people are being targeted as they go about their daily lives, and that the behaviour is unacceptable.
The statement came after Vancouver Police responded to a racist assault in East Vancouver on Friday night. According to the victim, a man punched her in the face and shouted a slew of racial insults after she sneezed. He also told her to, "Go back to Asia." The victim is Indigenous.
The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs shared a post on Twitter condemning the racist assault and calling on government to step up its efforts to prevent further violence.
According to the Vancouver Police Department, as of May 1, 2020, there have been 20 anti-Asian hate crimes reported this year, compared to 12 reported in the whole of 2019. This UBCIC notes that this trend speaks to the stark reality that people of colour face disproportionately high risks to their physical and mental survival every day, a risk that has been intensified by dangerous false messaging about COVID-19.