The man who admitted to defacing Victoria Park’s John A. MacDonald statue says he’s considering pleading not guilty to his charges.
Early last week, those in Victoria Park would have noticed the bright red paint on the statue’s hands. According to Patrick Johnson, who came forward days after claiming responsibility for the act, It symbolized blood from the violence and racism of First Nations peoples. He was charged with mischief under $5,000.
“The fact that the treaties haven’t been honoured, for me, that struck me that maybe that would make it null and void (invalid),” said Johnson on 980 CJME’s Gormley about potentially pleading not guilty.
“I’m still sleeping on it. That idea just came to me and my court case is at the end of the month, so I have some time to think about that,” he said.
Johnson’s scheduled to appear in provincial court in Regina on Sept. 27.
“I wanted to reclaim the public space,” he said about defacing the statue.
He feels showing someone who’s “oppressed their ancestors,” Victoria Park is highlighting differences opposed to commonalities.
He said the statue would be better fitted for a museum where it can be used for educational purposes.
“The statue is only part of the situation,” he added, wanting to bring attention to the wider issues of First Nations peoples.
In painting the statue, he said he’s trying to correct Canada’s history.
He said MacDonald tried to clear First Nations land to make room for settlers, as well as had a policy of keeping them on the verge of starvation without actually killing them, so he couldn’t be accused of murder.
However, Johnson said he recognizes John A. MacDonald’s positive actions in history as well.