Last Thursday, residents of Natick, Massachusetts, discovered that someone had spray-painted a swastika on the pavement near the entrance to a pedestrian bridge over the commuter rail line that connects the small town to Boston 20 miles to the east. With the location of the hateful vandalism just 100 yards from a Jewish community center, the Chabad Center of Natick, the vandal’s message was clear.
But the good people of Natick weren’t going to stand for the hatred in their community and within hours of its discovery, a non-Jewish resident had covered the swastika with a chalk-drawn flower and the message, "Hate has no place here." Rabbi Levi Fogelman of the Chabad Center of Natick says that he received numerous phone calls offering support after the incident, so on Sunday, he joined dozens of other Natick residents to brave the cold rain and march in solidarity with the Jewish community.
The MBTA Transit Police and the Natick Police Department are currently investigating the incident, and police presence has been increased in the area. Natick police Chief James Hicks says the swastika was in a high foot traffic area with lots of surveillance cameras, so he’s confident that they will eventually catch up with the perpetrator and then they’ll deal with them accordingly.