The theft and destruction of several political signs around the Island has prompted Democratic Committee leader Heather Reylek to organize what the committee is terming a”Free Speech Rally” in the Center Saturday morning.
“The level of theft and vandalism are higher than ever,” Ms. Reylek said. She pointed to a particular incident on Winthrop Road where homeowner Don Young, who had paid quite a lot for individual lettered signs spelling out HILLARY, only to have someone remove most of them and rearrange four to spell LIAR.
Mr. Young called it a theft of his First Amendment rights and Ms. Reylek said stealing political signs is “unacceptable” and “intimidation.”
She called for a peaceful, nonpartisan rally in the Center at 11 a.m. Saturday, asking participants to gather on the sidewalk between Dandy’s liquor store and the Shelter Island Library.
“Do not impede traffic or engage in any disrespectful behavior,” Ms. Reylek advised. She encouraged those with political signs to bring them.
The thefts have occurred primarily at night — in Mr. Young’s case, it was sometime between 10:30 at night and 7:30 the following morning last week.
Gordon Gooding, reported that several signs backing Hillary Clinton’s candidacy were stolen from lawns throughout Hay Beach.
His own were taken as were those of several neighbors.
While Ms. Reylek characterized the thefts as “cowardly,” Mr. Gooding called it “unacceptable behavior of a few.”