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Swastikas Found at Adam Yauch Park Spur Hundreds to 'Stand Up Against Hate'

By Alexandra Leon | November 21, 2016 12:10pm
 Hundreds of people gathered at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights Sunday to rally against hate after swastikas and pro-Trump graffiti were found drawn on children's playground equipment.
Hundreds of people gathered at Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn Heights Sunday to rally against hate after swastikas and pro-Trump graffiti were found drawn on children's playground equipment.
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Sen. Daniel Squadron's Office

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Hundreds of people rallied at the park named for late Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch after a pair of swastikas joined by the words “Go Trump!” were found scrawled in its playground over the weekend.

Community members joined elected officials, religious leaders and bandmate Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz Sunday at Adam Yauch Park for the event, which was organized by state Sen. Daniel Squadron’s office. 

The swastikas and the pro-Trump message was reported at the green space, located at State Street and Columbia Place, on Friday just before 8 p.m., the NYPD said.

Photos show the swastikas painted on a children’s jungle gym, which is named for Yauch who was Jewish and who died after suffering from cancer in 2012.

Several other words, including the word “p---y,” were also spray-painted on park benches, police said. 

A police spokesman said the graffiti is being investigated as a hate crime. 

The city’s Park Department immediately removed the graffiti, according to Squadron’s office. 

The graffiti was ultimately painted over and covered with paper hearts and flowers.

At Sunday’s rally, Horovitz said that “spray-painting swastikas in a children’s playground is a messed up thing to do.

“And for many, many of us it has special meaning because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years, but he was also someone that taught nonviolence in his music and his life, to all of us and to me.”

Horovitz pointed out the rise in hate-related incidents following Trump’s election, and called on the community to protest, volunteer or donate money to organizations like Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood and the United Way of Flint Michigan. 

“This is real, it’s happening at a rapid rate, we’ve got to stand up against hate,” he said.

Several elected officials also spoke on Sunday, including Public Advocate Letitia James, who led the crowd in singing “We Shall Overcome."

“We will not normalize hate in this country," she said. "Hate will not become the new normal.”

Actor Ben Stiller also attended the rally with his daughter.

The rally ended with protesters singing "This Land Your Land."