Vancouver Mayor says ‘unchecked white supremacism’ fuelled New Zealand attack

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the recent terrorist attack in New Zealand was caused by “unchecked white supremacism.”

Forty-nine people were killed Friday in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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A 28-year-old man, who livestreamed the attack, has been arrested and charged with murder.

Vancouver’s mayor tweeted about the attack March 15, underscoring that it “must be called out for what it is.” Specifically, he said that the attack was “Islamophobia stoked by unchecked white supremacism.”

He added that the attack broke his heart and told Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel that he was sending his “deepest condolences to the victims, their loved ones, and all of Christchurch.”

Stewart also issued an official statement on the terrorist attack.

“The flag at City Hall has been lowered to half-mast in an expression of sympathy and solidarity with our Muslim friends and neighbours here in Vancouver. I have been in contact with the Vancouver Police Department and they are working with the local Muslim community to ensure everyone feels safe and supported,” the statement read.

“This tragedy is a reminder that no place is safe from hatred and that we in Vancouver must resolve today and every day to naming it and fighting it. I hope everyone takes a moment to think about how we can be the best neighbours and friends possible as we continue to build a city that is welcoming and safe for all.”

The statement also includes the hashtag #theyareus, which is meant to show solidarity with the Muslim community. The message of peace was inspired by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden who spoke the words at a press conference.

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