Hundreds rally in NY park where swastikas and ‘Go Trump’ were daubed
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Hundreds rally in NY park where swastikas and ‘Go Trump’ were daubed

At memorial to Beastie Boys band member Adam Yauch, Gov. Cuomo pledges hotline, fund and special police unit to deal with hate crimes

Activists protest racism and hate, after swastikas were found in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York, on November 20, 2016.(AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS)
Activists protest racism and hate, after swastikas were found in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York, on November 20, 2016.(AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS)

NEW YORK — At least 300 people, including Beastie Boys singer Adam Horovitz, protested in New York on Sunday against what they said were hate crimes inspired by the election of Donald Trump, after swastikas appeared in a Brooklyn park.

The park bears the name of Adam Yauch, a bassist and singer with the Beastie Boys, who was also a human rights activist.

The popular group broke up in 2012, following his death of cancer. Yauch had played in the park as a child.

Sometime before Friday morning, vandals used spray paint to draw awkwardly formed swastikas and the words “Go Trump” on a children’s locomotive in a playground.

City workers quickly painted over the graffiti, and by Sunday the locomotive had been covered with flowers, hearts, messages of love and Tibetan flags, in tribute to Yauch, who was a Buddhist.

Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz speaks at a anti-hate rally at a Brooklyn park named in memory of Beastie Boys band member Adam Yauch after it was defaced with swastikas on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz speaks at a anti-hate rally at a Brooklyn park named in memory of Beastie Boys band member Adam Yauch, after it was defaced with swastikas on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

The defacement — of a sort seen in many parts of the country since Trump’s shock election, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors extremism — sparked widespread outrage on social media.

Activists protest racism and hate after swastikas found in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York on November 20, 2016.(AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS)
Activists protest racism and hate after swastikas found in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York on November 20, 2016.(AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS)

The Beastie Boys, formed in the 1980s by three young Jewish musicians from Brooklyn, were one of the great successes of the hip-hop genre.

The surviving Beastie Boys tweeted on Saturday: “Hate has no place in Brooklyn, NYC or America. Join us on Sunday to stand against hate messages.”

Activists protest racism and hate after swastikas were found in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York on November 20, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS)
Activists protest racism and hate after swastikas were found in Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn, New York on November 20, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS)

Horovitz was joined by elected officials including New York state senator Daniel Squadron, a Democrat, as well as leaders of several religious communities. Together they sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” the US national anthem, an AFP photographer reported.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, have said they will not tolerate hate crimes or expressions of racism, and they announced a series of measures to protect anyone targeted, whether Muslim, Jew, immigrant or member of a sexual minority.

People participate in an anti-hate rally at a Brooklyn park named in memory of Beastie Boys band member Adam Yauch after it was defaced with swastikas on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
People participate in an anti-hate rally at a Brooklyn park named in memory of Beastie Boys band member Adam Yauch, after it was defaced with swastikas on November 20, 2016 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Cuomo announced Sunday that he was creating a special state-police unit to deal with such crimes.

Having set up a special help line to take calls from potential victims, Cuomo also announced the creation of a fund to help immigrants in need of legal protection.

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