E.T. Has Taken Over The Old Sir John A. Macdonald Statue In Hamilton

Police have also laid charges in connection with the toppled statue.

Toronto Associate Editor
The Sir John A. Macdonald Statue In Hamilton Has Been Replaced With E.T.

It appears that E.T., the beloved extraterrestrial from the 1980s, has found its home where a statue of former prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald was recently torn down in Gore Park, Hamilton, Ontario.

Photos of an E.T. stuffed toy — posed with its hand resting under its chin, and an "I Love Scotland" lanyard around its neck — surfaced on Twitter on Thursday, August 18 (the former PM was also born in Glasgow, Scotland).

This comes just days after the statue was toppled over on August 14 during an Indigenous Freedom Rally that nearly 200 people attended, according to the Hamilton Police. Police have since arrested 56-year-old Miguel Martin Avila-Valarde from Toronto in connection with the vandalized statue and charged him with mischief over $5,000 but are still on the lookout for more suspects.

The Indigenous Freedom Rally began at City Hall and ended up at Gore Park, where, at around 2:15 p.m., a woman was seen climbing up the statue to tie ropes around it. Police said the ropes were then used to take the statue down.

"There were no reported injuries," police wrote. "Once the statue was on the ground, further damage was caused using spray paint, a hammer, and a grinder. The damage is estimated to be in excess of $5,000."

Several photos of suspects believed to be involved in the incident were released on Sunday, August 15, which led to the arrest of Avila-Valarde. Hamilton police have said the investigation is ongoing and they anticipate laying further charges.

Before the protest, two petitions posted a few months ago — one on Change.org and one on Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) — had called onto the local government to have the statue removed.

"We must stand in solidarity with all Indigenous community members calling for statues which idolize genocidaires and individuals who have intentionally committed atrocities against the original people of this land," the HCCI petition read. "These monuments elevate and celebrate nothing other than the ideals of colonialism, genocide, and white supremacy, just as their historical champions did. It is our responsibility to see to it that they are taken down."

Sir John Alexander Macdonald was the first prime minister of Canada and is widely considered to have played a key role in the development of residential schools that forced Indigenous children into assimilation.

Hamilton police are asking anyone with information about the investigation to contact Detective Sergeant Dave Oleniuk at 905-546-3833.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society Emergency Crisis Line is available across Canada 24/7. Those who may need support can call 1-866-925-4419.

Alex Arsenych
Toronto Associate Editor
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