SWASTIKAS have appeared painted around the city on the same weekend the English Defence League (EDL) staged a protest in the city centre.
The symbols, adopted by the Nazis in World War II, are believed to have been painted some time before the EDL demonstration, and have appeared on a road sign, buildings in Stoney Stanton Road and the Whitley Bridge along the London Road.
While it is not know who is responsible for the offensive graffiti, both the EDL and counter-protest group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) have denied responsibility.
UAF spokesperson and counter-demonstration organiser ‘Patrick’, who did not want to be identified, said the swastikas were ‘sick’ – especially considering some were painted on the same road as a cemetery housing the graves of the victims of the Coventry Blitz.
He added: “The swastikas are a sick, sick joke – particularly considering it was Hitler and the Nazis who were behind the Coventry Blitz.
“And to have the victims of that dreadful attack lying in graves just up the road proves how incredibly callous it was to paint these images in this city.”
“I can categorically say it won’t be anyone from UAF, so it’s hard to react – and there is no evidence to suggest that any of the rumours that it was someone from UAF who painted the images to stir up tension are true either.
“I have to assume it was someone associated to the EDL.”
But the EDL has hit back at the allegations, blaming the UAF.
A spokesperson said: “A handful of our opponents have decided they are failing to make their case with the truth, so they will try making it with lies.
“Sneakily-painted swastikas appeared in Coventry on the day of our demonstration.
“Were the swastikas painted by Unite against Fascism or its affiliates?
“What the EDL stands for has nothing to do with swastikas. Nothing.
“People who want to know what the English Defence League stands for could read the dozen placards we displayed at our demonstration.”
“Rather than make intelligent points and focused statements, on Saturday our opponents waved “Smash the EDL” placards.
“It is not unlikely that they also introduced the swastika as an agent provocateur act.
“Sadly, we can expect the same smear tactics to continue into the future. They are a sign of desperation by the UaF and associated “useful idiots”.
“They will not deflect us from our activities.”
A West Midlands Police spokesperson confirmed officers were aware of the swastikas.
They added: “Police are investigating after a small number of swastikas were found on buildings in Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry on Thursday night.
Enquiries are on-going and anyone with information should call 101.
“Local officers have also been made aware of a further report of further graffiti painted onto road signs in London Road, Coventry overnight- officers are liaising with the local authority to get these removed.”