Anti-hate rally planned for Sunday in Warren

Protesters, town officials respond to discovery of hate-filled stickers around downtown Warren

By Ted Hayes
Posted 4/14/21

Residents from across the East Bay will hold a peaceful rally in front of Warren Town Hall Sunday afternoon to protest the recent discovery of dozens of hate-filled stickers affixed to light poles …

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Anti-hate rally planned for Sunday in Warren

Protesters, town officials respond to discovery of hate-filled stickers around downtown Warren

Posted

Residents from across the East Bay will hold a peaceful rally in front of Warren Town Hall Sunday afternoon to protest the recent discovery of dozens of hate-filled stickers affixed to light poles and stop signs in the Water Street area.

Bristol resident Mel Bynum, who runs the public East Bay Diversity Facebook page, is organizing the 2 p.m. event with Warren resident Dyshell Palmer and others. Ms. Bynum said the rally will be a peaceful way to show support for people of all races and ethnicities, and to decry the ugly racist literature that has arrived in Warren.

She has invited members of the Warren Town Council, local legislators and town officials, members of the Bristol Warren Regional School Committee, and officials in Bristol and Barrington about the event.

"We're asking all of the community to come out in support with us," she said.

The rally was called after news broke Monday evening that dozens of stickers promoting the Ku Klux Klan, white power and Nazism have recently started appearing in the downtown area. Water Street artist William Schaff first posted online about it publicly Monday, asking readers to keep their eyes open for whoever is responsible. He said he has peeled off numerous stickers over the past several weeks, but they keep returning.

Since the news broke, Warren police have begun investigating the incidents, and town officials have issued public statements condemning the hateful stickers.

"This is not what Warren is about," Warren Town Manager Kate Michaud wrote in a statement to the press Monday.

The incidents are "hideous and heinous," Warren Town Council president Keri Cronin said at Tuesday night's regular council meeting.
"We stand against them. We denounce them. We reject them. This is not who we are," she said.

And to those responsible, she issued a warning: "Please be aware that you have been noticed, but the town is watching, the community at large is watching, the police are watching, citizens are watching and businesses are watching. If you come here again and try to do this again, you will be seen and you will be held accountable. We stand here united in peace and togetherness as a community."

Fighting hate with peace
Two other area residents working with Ms. Bynum and Ms. Palmer on Sunday's rally are Water Street resident Taylor Faria and her friend, Julie Souza of Barrington.

When Ms. Faria heard about the stickers Monday evening, she went out and started looking for them, removing them when she could reach them. The next day, she and Julie contacted Barrington graphic designer Lindsey Hingorany, who provided them with artwork for a sticker that circulated in Barrington last year. Reading "Hate Has No Home Here," the two friends used the image to print out dozens of stickers and affixed them over some of the hateful stickers along north and central Water Street and the Common.

Ms. Faria said she was outraged and saddened to hear of the hateful stickers in Warren, a town she loves.

"Warren is such a good town," she said Wednesday afternoon. "I have a daughter who walks along Water Street all the time. She shouldn't have to see this. This is not what this community is about."

She said she plans to have many more stickers professionally printed in time for Sunday's rally, and added that numerous supporters reached out to her and offered to donate funds to pay for the new stickers.

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