The president of the local service club running the Brentwood Community Hall in Central says a recent graffiti attack on the building that included the letters BLM undermines the mission of the club.
“We try and maintain the hall so that people in the community can use it at a reasonable price, and it costs us money every time that (graffiti) happens,” said Anne Henderson, president of the Brentwood Community Club. “So it’s a little bit frustrating.”
Club members discovered the graffiti Sunday morning (Oct. 4). The letters BLM written in black appeared in a stairwell leading into the hall’s basement on the side of the building facing Wallace Drive. The word REAP written in black and purple also appeared in another stairwell.
Det. Jessica Craig of Central Saanich Police said police have not yet identified any suspect, but are hoping that the public can help them identify the persons responsible.
CS File 20-3112
CALL FOR WITNESSES
On Sat, Oct 3, graffiti was painted on the Brentwood Community Hall. The hall is run by a volunteers who invested their own time & money cleaning & repainting. If you witnessed anything susp, pls call Cst Apa at (250) 652-4441 or @VicCrimeStop. pic.twitter.com/63espZ45rd
— cspoliceservice (@cspoliceservice) October 7, 2020
When asked about the BLM graffiti, Henderson said she is sure “it means Black Lives Matter,” the U.S.-based social movement calling for racial justice that has become a global phenomena following the recent death of George Floyd and other individuals who died after confrontations with law enforcement officers.
Henderson, for her part, sounded puzzled that such graffiti would appear on the building. “It’s all very well and good, but if they are painting stuff all over walls, it’s a little frustrating,” she said.
The most recent graffiti attack is only the latest in a series of similar events. “It’s a constant battle,” said Henderson. “This is the third time we have been hit in the last few months. This is not the only time we have been hit, this is just the recent stuff.” Other attacks left the building with swear words and nonsensical statements on its walls, said Henderson.
Whatever the motivation behind the graffiti, it does not change the fact that volunteers have to invest their time removing it, said Craig.
“Perhaps there is a way that people can spread their message and express their views in a way that doesn’t affect other people and a community group that wants to give back to the community,” she said.
One local business is giving back to the club as the Central Saanich Home Hardware is donating one gallon of paint to cover the graffiti. “That is a very generous offer that we gratefully appreciate,” said Henderson.
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