Xtra newspaper boxes continue to be targeted by vandals. In this case it was the box at High Park subway station in Toronto, which was singled out from a row
of other newspaper boxes. Trash was stuffed inside and the box covered in white
Craig Palmer, Xtra and fab distribution and community
relations coordinator, says the box was supposed to be removed after it was previously
vandalized in November. That month saw a rash of attacks in Toronto with vandals hitting
several Xtra boxes across Toronto. The box at Runnymede subway station was stuffed with
garbage, the boxes at High Park station and Jane station went missing, and,
after one was replaced, the papers inside were set on fire. The box at High
Park station was glued shut, the Keele station box was vandalized, and the box
at Jane station was sprayed with hate graffiti.
“This is 2011,” Palmer says. “Just when you think we’ve moved
past all this. It’s very disturbing.”
Toronto is not alone: over Christmas about 14 Xtra
boxes in Vancouver were also targeted.
Gareth Kirkby, engagement director of Pink Triangle Press, which publishes Xtra and fab, says he has no doubt the vandals are fuelled by hate. This is “far and above what we’ve experienced in the
past,” he says. “This we find quite alarming."
"The energy that’s required, the persistence to rip out
a part that is very deliberately anchored in, suggests that this person has
some significant issues,” Kirkby says.
"Somebody walking the streets out there has a real
hate-on for the gay and lesbian community.”
Vancouver police say they’re investigating the Vancouver vandalism as
a possible hate crime.
Anyone with information about vandalism in Toronto should contact Palmer at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-644-5204. If you see the vandals, snap a photo or
video with your cellphone camera.