Northwest of Napanee in Stone Mills Township, you can find the small community of Newburgh, home to the Hallow Square Market and community space.
Market organizers say they woke up Monday morning to the news that their Pride display had been defaced with blue paint.
“It’s just really heartbreaking to know that anybody has to see that this kind of behaviour is happening in our little community,” market organizer Francie Kennedy said.
The market committee refers to the rocks in the display as ’cause rocks,’ painting them monthly in the colours of their chosen cause.
For Kennedy, whose daughter is gay, what she’s calling a hate crime hits hard.
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She says she worries about the message it sends to other children who are navigating their own sexuality.
“They’re seeing this display of disgustingness in our village, in our township and it’s got to be scary for them.”
It wasn’t just the market that had Pride colours targeted over the weekend.
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Nearby Newburgh and Tamworth public schools had their Pride flags stolen. They were two of five schools in the Limestone school board that saw Pride vandalism over the weekend.
“There are unfortunately some members of our community that have views that are out of step with the year 2022 and we will continue to take a very strong stance in support of all human rights and certainly support the communities directly impacted by these particular instances in any way we can,” Limestone District School Board director of education Krishna Burra said.
A police report has been filed into the Hallow market vandalism and the investigation is ongoing.
The Kingston junior football Gaels play Cumberland on Saturday at Richardson Stadium.
The committee will be installing security cameras this week and says despite the open hate, the community has come together to show its support for this Saturday’s Pride Day market — volunteering to help repaint and even donating funds.
“Ultimately, yes, our community will come together and we’ll show that love, support, safety is important to us and it’s just a few of those people who don’t represent who the whole community is,” market committee member Alene Parr said.
Because of the overwhelmingly positive support from the community, the market committee is now asking people to attend on Saturday with their own painted Pride rock to add the ’cause rocks’ to show their support for Pride.
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