SOUTH LOOP — South Loop residents are reporting a rash of swastika stickers throughout their neighborhood.
City workers have been "very, very good" at removing the swastika stickers from street signs and other places in the Downtown area, said Kevin Lampe, a spokesman for Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd).
Anne Sheahan, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation, said its workers have been dispatched to take down the swastika stickers upon reports from neighbors.
But locals are still distressed by the stickers, a hateful display they say is without precedent in their diverse neighborhood.
"It's shocking and appalling," said Debbie Borman, who's lived in the South Loop for 10 years and shared a photo of one swastika sticker near 14th Street and Wabash Avenue to Facebook. "Whether there’s any affiliation to the president-elect is sort of irrelevant; to have that kind of speech come up in an urban area that’s highly diverse, it's just unprecedented."
Dowell's office said they've only been fielding reports of the stickers since last month's election, leading the alderman to believe that the displays are related to Trump. The sticker Borman shared shows Trump's name under the swastika.
"Hate crimes like this have increased since Trump's election," Lampe said. "We've not seen this level of hate and it is directly related to Donald Trump."
Trump has been scrutinized for selecting Steve Bannon — an online publisher championed by white nationalists — as a key White House adviser. But Trump has disavowed any association with white supremacy movements.
The South Loop swastika stickers follow recent reports of a swastika spray-painted on an Austin elementary school and another scrawled on a church in Pilsen.
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