‘Joy is a form of rebellion’ | Activists respond to Rainbow Crosswalk vandalism

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - An Atlanta intersection has been vandalized two times in one week. On Friday, police arrested the man they believe is responsible. The crimes are sparking an outpouring of support for Atlanta’s LGBTQ members.

“It has been a long time coming to have our community really seen and recognized. To me, these crosswalks are a tangible and visible marker of that,” said Jamie Ferguson Executive Director, Atlanta PRIDE Committee.

The rainbow crosswalks at 10th and Piedmont in Atlanta, are more than strips of color in a busy intersection.

When they are vandalized twice in less than 48 hours, people care. People show up to show, they care.

“We are Israeli. We are Jewish. We support LGBTQ and we are proud,” said Anat Sultan-Dadon, Consul General of Israel to the Southeastern United States.

“This is a location that means tolerance for our city, this is a community, this is inclusiveness. When someone with hate in their heart defaces it, it’s condemned by the Mayor. It’s condemned by the police department,” said Interim Atlanta Chief Of Police Darin Schierbaum.

During PRIDE, hundreds of thousands of people cross through the 10th and Piedmont intersection as part of the parade. This October will be no different.

“It is always such an amazing feeling when you turn from Peachtree onto 10th and see this giant wall of people,” said Ferguson.

“We are going to still live life fully. There is absolutely no way we are going to get in the closet once again,” said Rebecca Stapel-Wax with The Southern Jewish Resource Network for Gender & Sexual Diversity (SOJOURN), “A lot of times we say that joy is a form of rebellion...we must continue to live life fully, you must have joy.”