Peter Kakos: When your freedom of expression is stolen, what should you do? 

Published: 12/14/2020 10:27:16 AM When your freedom of expression is stolen, what should you do? Forget it and move on? Try to find...



Published: 12/14/2020 10:27:16 AM

When your freedom of expression is stolen, what should you do? Forget it and move on? Try to find the thief? Ask friends, or even the police, for advice?

This past summer, I bought and placed a Black Lives Matter sign on my front lawn. After the tragically senseless murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, I had to do my part. I had to act.

Then one morning in October, I found that someone had yanked my sign from the ground of my front lawn, then threw it onto my driveway. I immediately replaced it. Within a week, it was gone altogether. When I shared this with a member of our church nuclear abolitionist movement, he suggested that I ask my neighbors if they would post one in front of their homes. They all gladly agreed. Now we were able to quadruple the message. A passerby or driver could not help but notice.

Come November, I woke up to all four gone. Thinking it best to have this third incident of outright vandalism together with property theft reported, I called our Northampton Police. The officer took down the information, agreeing with me that I should consider installing a camera should I decide to try again to spread the word.

I am now left to wonder what to do next? Perhaps I should replace all four; create a large banner for my high fence out front, watched over by a surveillance device; or the least effective, display it in a front window, the problem being that it would be difficult to notice, given the fence.

Reader, do you have a better idea? Let me know at popkakos9@gmail.com. I have a hunch that I’m not the only victim of the same crime around, now having the same thoughts, the same fears.

My hope is that the perpetrator would read this and know that I invite her/him to talk with me about their motivation. I am willing to take a chance, believing we have more in common than we realize, starting with our need for safe neighborhoods; our need to see one another as members of one family; and our need to be respected with dignity and integrity.

Rev. Peter Kakos

Northampton



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Newsrust: Peter Kakos: When your freedom of expression is stolen, what should you do? 
Peter Kakos: When your freedom of expression is stolen, what should you do? 
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