EXCLUSIVE: 2nd Amen. banner defaced with 'Antifa,' sickle and hammer. Police report filed.
A Young Americans for Freedom group found its banner vandalized with "Antifa," "Go away," and a sickle and hammer.
The group has filed a police report., but this isn't the first time it has experienced crimes related to its views....
A pro-Second Amendment banner at the University of Florida (UF) was defaced, possibly by Antifa members, in early April.
UF Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter made and hung a banner that featured a painted gun with the words “come and take it.” The vandal(s) spray painted a hammer and sickle, an international symbol for communism, and wrote “Go away” and “Antifa,” as well.
UF YAF found the banner vandalized Saturday morning, according to a Facebook post made by the group.
Campus Reform obtained an exclusive copy of the police report, which was filed by UF YAF and was listed as a criminal mischief offense. The report cites UF YAF President Sarah Long saying that the banner’s permit was valid from March 25 to March 29, but that another group placed its own banner on top of it after the permit’s expiration.
Long reported that YAF decided to keep the banner up behind the latter group’s advertisement, in case the group rented the location in the future, and deduced that the vandal(s) removed the poster on top in order to vandalize YAF’s banner.
This is not the first time UF YAF has had its property damaged or stolen on campus. Several weeks ago, leftist students tore down UF YAF’s “Build the Wall” banner multiple times over the course of a few days. Three police reports were filed from that incident.
Officer Victor G. Beguiristain, the reporting officer in the case, alluded to these past crimes in the latest police report. In the officer’s narrative section of the report, Beguiristain noted that UF YAF “has been the victim of similar politically charged crimes in the past.”
In a statement to Campus Reform, Long criticized the culture of free speech at UF.
“I’m disappointed to see that a designated terrorist organization has found a home at UF,” Long said. “This is the latest in a string of vandalizations and theft that has cost UF YAF nearly $200 in replacing stolen and destroyed property--all because students at the university have not been adequately equipped to handle differing opinions.”
The YAF president placed the value of the banner at $30, according to the police report.
“My hope is that the student body and the administration will soon begin respecting the First Amendment rights of conservative Gators,” she said. UF YAF is also currently suing UF over alleged First and Fourteenth Amendment violations.
Campus Reform reached out to UF over the latest banner vandalism but received no response in time for publication.
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