Mokena street signs defaced with swastikas - again

MOKENA, Ill. (WLS) -- For the second time in 16 months, swastikas were drawn on street signs in downtown Mokena sparking residents to speak out about the hateful graffiti.

Four signs near the village hall and police station were defaced in the south suburb.

Amanda Herman was headed home from church on Sunday when she saw the signs.

"I am just beyond upset," said Herman, a member of the South Suburban Activists, a new local civic group that has engaged with the national Women's March and Pride festivals.

In a Facebook post, the group called out the perpetrators and get village officials to take action.

"We as parents and the community need to be educating children, teenagers, whoever, that that symbol is not right," Herman said. She added: "I don't want this to be kept quiet. I think we need to be talking about this I want to hear that from our leaders."

The mayor did not return calls for comment on Tuesday.

The village administrator emailed a statement which said, "The Village condemns such hate crimes and will prosecute, as allowed by law, those individuals responsible for this crime."

At the popular EggCetera Café near the Rock Island Metra station, concern over racism and Nazi symbolism punctuated lunchtime conversations.

"It's very hurtful to see that," says patron Jan Kaufman. "I am not Jewish myself but you know for the people who experienced it back in the day and lived through it, it's very hurtful."

"This is kind of a quiet town compared to a bustling big city and that it actually touched here which means it could touch anywhere," said David Mezykowski.

"I'm hoping it is just someone who doesn't realize just what this symbolism means to many of us who have been through some sad stuff in our lives," said Susan Mezykowski.
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