Stonewall National Monument vandalised three times during Pride Month: ‘So much hatred in the air right now’

Police officers wearing designated vests stand around the Stonewall National Monument.

A monument dedicated to the Stonewall uprising has been vandalised three times during Pride Month, according to local police.

Pride flags hung across the fence of the Stonewall National Monument, in New York’s Greenwich Village, were reportedly ripped down or damaged on Sunday (18 June) – the third incident since the beginning of June.

Police reportedly arrived at the monument, which commemorates the LGBTQ+ uprising in 1969, to find 33 Pride flags broken and thrown across the pavement nearby.

Similar incidents occurred on 16 and 9 June according to the New York police department’s hate crimes task force, which is investigating the vandalism. No arrests have been made.

The memorial includes Christopher Park, and park volunteer Steven Mendez told Fox 5 New York that he believed at least 68 flags had been damaged across the park’s fence.

“We have so much hatred and anger in the air right now,” he said. “We need to reverse that and replace it with love, compassion and acceptance.”

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Video footage of passers-by who vandalised several of the flags on 6 June was released by NYPD Crime Stoppers on 12 June.

Police are offering up to a $3,500 (approximately £2,750) reward to anyone who can provide information on three men who vandalised the fence while walking past the park at 3am.

The park was designated as the first national LGBTQ+ rights monument in 2016, in dedication to the Stonewall Uprising which took place between 28 June and 3 July 1969, a pivotal moment in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.

Christopher Park was chosen as the venue for the monument because of its proximity to the Stonewall Inn. The bar became the scene of protests following a brutal police raid, sparking a global Pride movement.

Calls to recognise the park as a landmark date back as far as 1999 after a group of researchers wrote a report for Stonewall that included a listing for a monument.

Stonewall Inn and the park collectively gained landmark status in 2015 and were recognised as the Stonewall National Monument a year later by former president Barack Obama.

“The riots became protests, the protests became a movement, the movement ultimately became an integral part of America,” he said in June 2016.