From the West Coast Sentinel:
28 March 2008
Offensive, intimidating racist graffiti with American Ku Klux Klan overtones was sprayed over buildings at the Far West Aboriginal Sporting Complex at Thevenard over the Easter long weekend.
A road sign at the junction of the Eyre and Flinders Highways east of Ceduna had a similar offensive message sprayed on it and there were reports of a fence and a toilet block near the Thevenard slipway also being hit.
Some of the graffiti, sprayed in green and white paint, makes reference to “niggers” and threatens that they will “die”.
One piece of graffiti sprayed on the wall of the main building at the sporting complex was “KKK”, the abbreviation for the infamous Ku Klux Klan, a secretive white supremacist organisation in the US.
Its members are often portrayed as wearing white hoods, setting fire to crosses at night and attacking Negroes. However, Klan members convicted of beatings and murders in the US have often been well-respected citizens, including state police officers.
The intimidatory and blatantly racist nature of the graffiti has upset community leaders.
Some in the community believe the Easter graffiti attack was in retaliation for graffiti sprayed on a water tank and buildings at the Thevenard sports ground and on fences in laneways in Thevenard on Friday, March 14.
The graffiti appeared to have been mainly tagging by a group identifying themselves as the West Coast Boyz by the initials ‘WCB’ sprayed in several places.
The Thevenard Netball Club relocatable buildings also had a lurid drawing sprayed on the wall, but that graffiti was not of a racist nature.
Officer in charge of Ceduna Police, Senior Sergeant Graham Schaedel, said detectives from Port Lincoln had taken some spray paint cans away for forensic testing in the hope of finding fingerprint or DNA clues to who sprayed the graffiti nearly a fortnight ago.
Senior Sergeant Schaedel said police were investigating the Easter graffiti attacks.
He said Ceduna had been “quiet” over the Easter long weekend apart from groups of young people roaming the town at all hours of the nights.
A crew from Tjutjunaku Worka Tjuta (TWT) cleaned off the graffiti at the sports complex on Tuesday.
District Council of Ceduna works manager, Andy Johns, said he saw the graffiti on the road sign as he returned home from Streaky Bay. He reported it to the Department of Transport works office at Wudinna first thing Tuesday and was told the road crew was heading to Ceduna that day.
Chairperson of the South Australian Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Kerry Colbung, who was back home in Ceduna for Easter, said the weekend’s graffiti proved racism was still a part of the Far West.
“I know people are very parochial about their clubs, but this town has still got a lot of work to do in regard to eliminating racism.
“There are a lot of people very disappointed by this, particularly the intimidation thing,” Mrs Colbung said.
Ceduna Mayor, Allan Suter, who learned of the graffiti as he flew out to local government meetings in Adelaide on Tuesday morning, described it as “appalling, disgusting and offensive”.
“I absolutely condemn this offensive racism. Whoever did it, should be ashamed of himself or herself.
“If it is tit for tat, then it is stupid. It serves no purpose than to inflame the situation,” Mayor Suter said.