An Ottawa, Canada memorial for Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old woman who died in a Texas jail cell earlier this month, was defaced with an “All Lives Matter” slogan just a day after it appeared, the Huffington Post reports.
The tribute, made possible by Ottawa-based artists Allan Andre and Kalkidan Assefa, showed a colorful depiction of Bland with her name painted next to her. The day the slogan was discovered, the Ottawa coalition of Black Lives Matter posted a photo of the tagged art.
“[We] will NOT accept this as a reality of our city’s treatment of the importance of Black lives and will continue to take a stance against such racist actions,” the group wrote on Facebook.
Activists have long-been critical of the statement “All Lives Matter,” as it reduces the Black Lives Matter movement by implying that Black communities aren’t under the scourge of systemic oppression and police brutality at alarming and disproportionate rates. And while no one life is more valuable than the next, All Lives Matter, especially used within the context of the Sandra Bland defacing, is proof that its supporters use it to erase the validity of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hours after the tagging was discovered, the Black Lives Matter community gathered to fix the memorial.
The coalition thanked everyone for their support, saying such acts “will not be accepted.”
While authorities say Bland died of an apparent suicide, the mysterious details surrounding her death have set off speculation in the Black Lives Matter community that jail staff were either complicit or negligent. An investigation continues.
SOURCE: Huffington Post, Facebook | PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook