Brooklyn's Adam Yauch Park Was Vandalized by Swastikas and Pro-Trump Graffiti

The hateful graffiti was cleaned up quickly by authorities, but it shocked local parents who had taken their kids to play in the Brooklyn Heights park.

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Nov 19 2016, 3:40pm

The Adam Yauch Park Memorial Park in Brooklyn Heights was vandalized with graffiti, including two swastikas and the words "Go Trump" on Friday, startling and alarming parents taking their kids to play.

When Brooklyn resident Amy Lazarides saw the disgraceful graffiti, she placed calls to 311, the local police precinct, the city Parks Department, and State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents New York's 26th district. Lazarides said Squadron's office responded right away and worked with the residents and Parks Department to have the graffiti removed not long after it was discovered.

"It took a few seconds to process," Lazaides told VICE. "It was crazy. A symbol of hate and racism right smack in the middle of the park." She took a photo of the graffiti and shared it with friends, and by Friday night the image was spreading rapidly on social media.

Another local who saw the graffiti, Sveta Doucet, expressed her shock and disgust by writing on her Facebook page, "Hate has no boundaries nor limits. And this is what it looks like at my local children's park."

In an email to VICE, Doucet shared more photos she took of the graffiti and added, "This is so horrific."

Since Election Day there have been hundreds of reported hate crimes and racist and anti-Semitic vandalism. What makes these swastikas—painted so sloppily they looked more like Hindu or Buddhist symbols—so notable is that they appeared not only in the heart of liberal Brooklyn, but that they defaced a park dedicated to Adam Yauch. The Beastie Boy, who was born Jewish and died in 2012, famously went from being a caustic prankster in the group's early years to a practicing Buddhist heavily involved in the campaign to free Tibet. After 9/11, his nonprofit, the Milarepa Fund, worked to help New Yorkers who were the victims of violence.

A Parks Department employee cleans up the graffiti. Photo courtesy of Sveta Doucet

"This symbol of genocide and hate in a playground in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty is nauseating," said Squadron in a statement. "But anyone who thinks that an election victory will allow oppression to win in this country is wrong. The swastika represents genocide and monstrosities our nation came together to defeat. Brooklyn's diversity represents our country's great strengths, and we will stand up to any who want to undermine its values."

Squadron's office is planning a rally in the park at 11:30 AM on Sunday as a way of pushing back against the vandal's hateful message.