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Vandalism Hub


Windows Smashed at San Francisco GLBT Historical Society


The San Francisco GLBT Historical Society writes:

Two windows at The GLBT History Museum were smashed in an act of vandalism around 4:45 a.m. this morning (Oct. 29). Our staff responded immediately, as did the San Francisco Police Department. None of the historical objects on display were damaged. The museum will be closed today so we can start repairs, but we expect to open tomorrow for our normal hours (11 a.m.–7 p.m.). You can help the museum by making a donation here:

Chick-fil-A Graffiti Vandal Manny Castro Arrested


Manny Castro, the artist who sprayed graffiti on a Torrance, California Chick-fil-A in protest of the company's anti-gay donations, was finally arrested yesterday, after making himself known by publishing two statements in the HuffPost taking responsibility for the incident.

The L.A. Times reports:

Police are also looking for a second person who may have played a role in the incident.

Manuel Castro, 30, was arrested on suspicion of vandalism about 7 p.m. Wednesday in West Hollywood, said Torrance police Sgt. Steve Jenkinson...

..."Everybody is entitled to free speech, but it seems like for the gay tribe, this is more of an issue of equal rights — human rights," he said. "I'm against what these people stand for, what this company stands for. They're trying to take away what little rights we already have."

Investigators were aware of Castro's comments and worked to independently identify him as their suspect, Jenkinson said. Using "numerous items of evidence" discovered at the scene as well as information gathered during their investigation, detectives consulted with the Los Angeles district attorney's office before arresting Castro.

Castro posted $20,000 bail and was released from the city jail at 11:18 p.m.

Chick-fil-A Vandal Speaks Out: 'I am a Proud Christian'


Manny Castro, the L.A.-based artist who claimed responsibility for the graffiti spray-painted on the side of a Torrance, California Chick-fil-A last week, has not been arrested for what he did despite his coming forward, and offers a statement to the Huffington Post about why he did it:

My statement painted on the side of the Chik-Fil-A in Torrance was not born out of hate. It was born out of frustration. It was meant to further a discussion about tolerance and acceptance. My Facebook wall was simply not large enough to do this. Contrary to popular belief, I am a proud Christian and I wholly subscribe to the verse: “Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.”

I didn’t use violence. I used paint. Artists for centuries have expressed their opinions through this medium and I am no different. The word "FAG" spray painted on anything has never garnered the media attention that my cow with a paintbrush did. And that’s unfortunate.

Castro says he'll gladly pay for the cost of repainting the wall but won't sit at the back of the bus.


Vandals Hit Gay Bar in Atlanta


Vandals damaged Sister Louisa’s Church, a relatively new gay bar in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward over the weekend, Atlanta Magazine reports, in what's being called a hate crime:

Owner Grant Henry says that front windows and doors were broken, liquor bottles smashed, and beer taps were left running but that nothing was stolen, including cash and valuables left in open view. Damages are estimated at $3,000. “This doesn’t have anything to do with a break in,” Henry says. “It was definitely targeted.”

At 5:12 am on Saturday, Henry answered a call from his alarm company alerting him to motion on the bar’s first floor. By the time he arrived minutes later, police were already on the scene. The front door windows, which depicted crosses, were both smashed. Bricks had been thrown through a window with the word “Church.” Henry stood outside while police investigated.

“The investigative unit came in and did what they do. Then they came out and said that it is clearly a hate crime. Because they didn’t steal anything, they took nothing, they left things of value, and they only targeted the word church and they targeted the booze behind the bar, you know, on the altar.”

The bar's name comes from an alter-ego of Henry's, under which he creates kischy artwork.

Contributions poured in to repair the bar after news of the vandalism was posted on Facebook. According to Henry, everything has now been repaired.

UK Vandal Does Obscene Paint Job on Gay Nightclub


A gay bar in Carlisle, UK, 10 miles south of the Scottish border, was struck by a vandal who was caught on CCTV painting the club's windows a bright orange, News & Star reports:

Police are investigating but stress they are not treating the attack as a hate crime. The man responsible, who brought his own stepladder to help him complete the paint job, also wrecked the vibrant “artwork” sign that had colourfully spelled out the club’s name above its main entrance. He used a spray can to paint it black.

Said Dee Lockhart, PA to the club’s chief executive Glenn Anderson:

"We caught the whole thing on CCTV. This guy turns up, without a care in the world, just taking his time, casually spraying over our sign. The video shows him coming along, having a good look at the outside of the building, then he goes round the corner where he’s obviously stashed a ladder, and then he comes back to start work, going from left to right spraying our sign. Then he takes the ladder away, and comes back and sprays all four of our windows completely orange. He’s completely ruined the front of our club. It could cost up £10,000 to redo it."

Hate Graffiti Hits Williams and Dartmouth


Earlier this month, a vandal tagged an area at Dartmouth College with homophobic graffiti:

The vandalism, which was located adjacent to the gender-neutral floor, has spurred concern in the bisexual, gay, lesbian and transgender community. Gender-neutral hall residents are worried that the incident reveals negative undertones towards LGBT students on campus, various residents said in interviews with The Dartmouth.

The Dartmouth staff columnist Adam Mehring sounds off:

The community response has predictably been one of regret. After an initial lag in administrative action and student notification, news of the vandalism inspired many to speak out against such behavior. Campus rhetoric has framed the incident as an isolated occurrence unrepresentative of general community sentiments. This sort of thing doesn’t happen at Dartmouth, apparently. The real problem lies with our current communication channels, or administrative transparency or the transgressions of a single apostate.

The truth is that our problems are more fundamental. Most students would individually recognize that the word “fag” is hateful. But seldom do we function individually, separated from the influences and dynamics of our community and peers. And in certain spheres within our community, it is considered quite acceptable to use the word “fag” or “faggot.”

The use of these slurs is not only acceptable — it’s prevalent. I stopped counting the number of times I’ve heard “faggot” bandied about casually like a comment on the weather. Unsurprisingly, the most frequent site of violation has been the fraternity basement — that fabled locale where reckless indulgence pairs effortlessly with unbridled masculine rage.

Meanwhile, Williams College was hit with a similar hate crime:

Early Saturday morning, a student called into Campus Safety and Security reporting that the phrase  “All N****rs Must Die” was written in a dormitory. Originally described by the administration as a “racially hateful phrase,” the writing of the graffiti has since been filed as a hate crime by the Williamstown Police Department (WPD). Following collaboration with the Faculty Steering Committee (FSC), senior staff and students, President Falk cancelled all classes and athletic practices on Monday. It was the first time in over 30 years that the administration had decided to cancel class in response to a specific act of racial discrimination. On Monday, students, faculty and administrators organized a day of programming to address issues of discrimination, racial and otherwise, in the wake of the hate crime.


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