Just before the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru arriving in Vancouver, the monument commemorating the 1914 incident has been vandalized again.
Vancouver Park Board crews removed the graffiti quickly but the chemicals used in the cleaning process also damaged the monument’s intentional rusty design. The end result was a whitewash effect.
In order to give the monument an even appearance for tomorrow’s anniversary, crews will be returning to the site at Harbour Green Park in Coal Harbour to rid the monument of its rusty look. It is expected that the monument will rust over time, returning it to its original look when it was installed in 2012.
The monument to the Komagata Maru commemorates the incident in 1914, where a Japanese steamship named the Komagata Maru, arrived in Vancouver carrying 376 passengers. Twenty were allowed into Canada, but 356 others were not allowed and the ship had to return to India.
It is viewed as one of the examples of the exclusion laws that existed in the early 20th century, designed to keep out immigrants of Asian descent.
This is the second time in half a year that the memorial has been defaced.
Last fall, a viral photo of a man urinating on the monument caused an uproar in the South Asian community. Vancouver Police did not press fines nor charges on the individual responsible as he was discovered to be a mentally ill drug addict.