Vandals target downtown statue of Sir John. A. MacDonald again

A downtown Montreal statue of Sir John A. Macdonald has been spray-painted red, only hours before the start of a demonstration to denounce racism and the newly-elected Coalition Avenir Quebec government.

An anonymous group of anti-colonial, anti-capitalist activists are claiming responsibility for the damage, which police say occurred Saturday night.

The group said in a news release that it wasn't involved in organizing today's demonstration but wanted to support the event by defacing the statue of Macdonald, who they describe as a white supremacist who contributed to the genocide of Indigenous peoples.

In 1883, Macdonald argued in the Commons for the removal of Indigenous children from their ``savage'' parents so they could learn the ways of white men.

The Montreal statue has been spray-painted on several previous occasions, including this past August.

Some 50 groups have said they'll take part in Sunday's demonstration to protest racism as well as premier-elect Francois Legault's plan to cut immigration and expel new arrivals who don't pass a French and values test within three years of arrival.