Demand Winnipeg Police treat vandalism & harassment @ Elemental Book Shop as a hate crime!
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"According to police, a hate crime involving property would require the commission of the mischief to be based on bias, prejudice or hate based on religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin."
Yet the Winnipeg Police Department refuses to treat the systematic vandalism and harassment of the Elemental Book and Curiosity Shop as a hate crime.
Dominique Smith's shop has been the target of systematic attacks since she opened it six years ago. She has found pamphlets from certain Christian groups on her doorstep after the incidences, telling her to "repent of her sins" because she chooses a Pagan religion. None of her neighbours in the area have suffered such attacks. If this is not a hate crime, what is?
Dominique's window has been broken three times since she opened her shop. Her window was broken when I came there in 2014 for my book tour. She is just a small store owner, trying to serve a small but visible community in Manitoba. She can't afford to replace her windows, which cost thousands of dollars, every year. If the bullies who are attacking her store are trying to drive her out of business because they don't like what she's selling, they're succeeding.
If the Winnipeg police were investigating this pattern more thoroughly, instead of dismissing it, I am certain this would not be happening. And attacks are getting progressively more aggressive because the perpetrators are emboldened by the lack of action on the part of law enforcement.
Police in Canada seem disturbingly inclined to ignore religious hate crimes lately. The Mosque shooting in Quebec is not yet being investigated as a hate crime either. Is this really what we want in our country, which is lauded the world over for its tolerance?
Join me in demanding that the Winnipeg Police investigate this as it deserves to be investigated, and in demanding that the Winnipeg City Hall hold their police department accountable in enforcing the law to protect everyone equally!
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