Mysterious swastikas in North Brooklyn
by Cynthia Via
Jul 06, 2011 | 1240 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A string of swastikas, found last Thursday on Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg, has prompted much alarm.

The anti-sematic symbols appeared between Flushing Avenue and Keap Street for the second time. A total of nine swastikas were found in the area.

Only a month ago, multiple swastikas were painted in a Jewish neighborhood on private houses along Marcy Avenue from Division Avenue to Heyward Street.

Councilman Stephen Levin condemned the behavior.

“I am deeply troubled and alarmed by this apparent pattern of hate and vandalism,” he said in a statement. “I call on the NYPD to investigate this for what it is, a hate crime.”

Levin’s office has contacted the 90th Precinct to investigate and find the group or individual responsible for the symbols.

“Though we all come from different backgrounds, hold different religious beliefs, and have different customs, we must join together as a community to send the message that Williamsburg will not tolerate hate,” he said.

But hate crimes are not limited to the swastikas. In South Williamsburg and Greenpoint, physical hate crimes are occuring with more frequency, according to Rami Metal, community liaison for Levin. A couple months ago there was a physical altercation where an elderly gentleman suffered attacks in South Williamsburg.

“We have seen the number of hate crimes increasing,” said Metal. “We are taking this very seriously and have spoken to the police.”

At last month’s Community Board 1 meeting, the Public Safety Committee chair mentioned the distribution of white supremacy fliers in the neighborhood, believed to be from The Creativity Movement, a neo-Nazi group based out of Illinois, but with its own New York Chapter. The local precinct was contacted about the matter, but said it is legal under the First Amendment.

The gay community in Greenpoint has also been affected.

At the CB1 meeting, one resident explained how she and her partner were attacked by two men on a recent night. The incident started when one of the men threw garbage at the couple from a car and yelled hateful, homophobic slurs. Later, both perpetrators went as far as to follow them into a bar, but they were able to leave. The victim said it was not the first time she experienced homophobia in the area.

“It seems to be a trend,” said Metal. “It’s worrying.”
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