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Community / Disgust and indignation after racist graffiti appears on buildings at Garths Ness

Photo: Shetland News

RACISM and hate is alive in Shetland and it needs community effort to stamp it out.

This is the view of community group Shetland Staands after being made aware of highly offensive racist graffiti that has been sprayed onto buildings at Garths Ness in Quendale.

Swastikas and a number of slogans inciting hate such as ‘If you are not white get out’ and ‘George Floyd says f*ck n*ggers’ have appeared on the remains of the old Cold War buildings over recent days.

Police have been to the area over recent days and are carrying out an investigation. The graffiti has been reported to police again on Monday.

Meanwhile, southend councillor Allison Flea Duncan described the graffiti as “totally unacceptable” and vowed to do anything in his powers to get it removed as quickly as possible.

Carina Newell, one of the founding members of anti-discrimination groups Shetland Staands, said this latest incident highlighted why the conversations and education on racism, hate and intolerance needed to continue urgently.

“It shows that racism and hate is alive in Shetland and those responsible for this had to learn it from somewhere,” she said.

“They will continue to spread this level of hate among their peers and on to the next generation.”

Shetland Staands was formed last year following the violent death of George Floyd which led to widespread protest across the globe. The group organised an islands-wide solidarity protest against racism in June last year.

Newell added: “It takes a village to raise a child, so it’s up to wider family, communities and educators to call this out when they hear or see it.”

Councillor Duncan, who is also the vice chairperson of the community safety and resilience committee, said he was very much ready ‘to call this out’.

“This is totally disgusting – we welcome people here in Shetland and we don’t need these abusive comments. You really couldn’t get any worse than what you see there,” he said.

While the graffiti appeared in a very remote place, Duncan said he was worried that tourists venturing out to Garths Ness to visit the location where the tanker Braer ran aground in January 1993 would get the “completely wrong” impression of Shetland.

He called for the graffiti to be removed as quickly as possible.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Anyone who knows who is responsible, should contact Police Scotland on 101.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021