Swastikas among hateful messaging found on vandalized Pembina Highway businesses

Police are investigating overnight vandalism that left left multiple businesses along Pembina Highway with hateful graffiti and racist symbols spray painted on their sidewalks, windows and doors.

Maryam Nadmah, co-owner of Tehran Cafe, rushed into work after staff found swastikas painted on the restaurant’s windows and on the cement in front of their entrance Wednesday morning.

Read more: Winnipeg restaurant owner speaking out after hateful message left on her car

“This is not funny — it’s already hard for businesses — and this is just something (else) on top of everything,” Nadmah told Global News as she arrived to start cleaning the graffiti off her Iranian restaurant.

“I really want to know who did it and why they did it.”

Click to play video: 'Addressing racism within workplaces' Addressing racism within workplaces

Addressing racism within workplaces – Feb 26, 2021

The graffiti was spread on the front windows of neighbouring businesses in the strip mall at 1875 Pembina Hwy. as well, but they were far from the only ones hit.

Story continues below advertisement

A Global News cameraperson found red spray-painted graffiti on multiple locations along Pembina Highway, from Confusion Corner all the way to the University of Manitoba.

Read more: Winnipeg’s anti-racism week looks to help heal divisions, end discrimination

It appeared those targeted with swastikas in red paint were mostly businesses and organizations that have an ethnic, cultural or religious name.

Another particularly hard hit business was Nadmah’s neighbour, Stone Angel Brewing Co. which had graffiti, including swastikas, sprayed on windows all around the brewery.

Several neighboring businesses were also hit in the Pembina Highway strip mall. Rudi Pawlychyn/Global News

Stone Angel’s co-owner Paul Clerkin said he thinks the vandalism was racially targeted, because of the number of ethnically-owned businesses that were specifically hit.

“The city is supposed to be a community,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Coronavirus fears could result in racism aimed at local Asian community: Winnipeg prof

“By doing stuff like this you sign yourself up for showing yourself as not a member of this community.”

Winnipeg police have said they’re investigating.

In an interview with 680 CJOB later in the day Nadmah said she was initially very scared to find the hateful messaging on her business.

“Because it’s not only me, I have 10 staff working for me here … but as the day has gone by everyone is feeling a little more calm,” she said, adding it’s the first time the business has dealt with hate.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Human rights panel orders Winnipeg landlord to pay tenant for racist, sexist remarks

“This is just ignorant people who think that, you know, because we are different, they hate.”

Nadmah said she expects whoever is responsible for the vandalism was likely caught on security cameras.

Click to play video: 'Canadian Museum for Human Rights responds to graffiti at entrance' Canadian Museum for Human Rights responds to graffiti at entrance

Canadian Museum for Human Rights responds to graffiti at entrance – Feb 26, 2020

In the meantime, she says she’s been overwhelmed by support from the community.

“You have no idea how many phone calls and how many visits I’ve got today,” she said.

Read more: Hundreds of cars line Winnipeg streets for anti-Asian hate vehicle rally

“Whoever hears about the incident, they came and showed us their support … I can say that we have the best customers here, they’re so caring.”

Story continues below advertisement

–With files from Anya Nazeravich and Rudi Pawlychyn

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

View original article here Source