Over 50 people gathered for an anti-hate rally on the steps of Freeport Town Hall on Friday. Freeport police Chief Nathaniel Goodman encouraged those present to “keep lines of communication open with our department, with your town councilors.” Luna Soley / The Times Record

Over 50 people gathered in front of Freeport Town Hall Friday to show support for targeted minority communities after a series of recent incidents of racist and antisemitic vandalism.

“Hatred and oppression thrive in darkness and flourish through inaction,” Dan Piltch, councilor for District 1, said at the rally. “It’s our shared responsibility to bring them to light.”

On April 16, Ella Tabasky, a Brunswick resident who works in Freeport, found a swastika and a racial slur against Black people carved into the wall in a public restroom at 100 Main St., a downtown storefront.

The slur spanned the length of a bathroom stall wall, and the swastika the entire width of the stall door, Tabasky said. She reported the vandalism to the Freeport Police Department. The building’s manager sanded off the slur later that day.

On May 1, Tabasky returned from a brief work absence to find that the swastika still had not been removed. She covered it up herself with newspapers.

Ella Tabasky used newspaper and tape to cover up antisemitic vandalism on the stall door of the public restrooms at 100 Main St. in Freeport. Courtesy photo

“I found it very jarring to find the symbols of hate in a place where I come to work every day,” Tabasky said in an email. “I identify as Jewish, but I would have been troubled regardless of who is being targeted by the hateful content.”


Building manager Jeff Craig sanded off the swastika the following day.

Four months later, on Aug. 19, Tabasky’s cousins parked in the lot near CVS in Freeport and found three of the same racial slur spray-painted on the asphalt. Tabasky filed a police report. On Aug. 22, the words were still there. She spray-painted over them herself.

Freeport Police Chief Nathaniel Goodman encouraged those present at the rally on Friday to “keep lines of communication open with our department, with your town councilors.”

There have been other more recent alleged incidents that caused concern among community members.

On Aug. 24, a cyclist in the Porters Landing neighborhood reported to the police that a high schooler and recent graduate were calling a fellow student a racial slur. All three students were white.

Most recently, a Falmouth resident who was visiting the Morse Street School playground with her two children over Labor Day weekend notified the police that a swastika was carved on the inside of a slide.


Regional School Unit 5 Superintendent Jean Skorapa reported that the symbol was removed on Sept. 5.

John Egan, vice chairperson of the Freeport Town Council, called for a town hall gathering last week, inviting locals to the mic to share their thoughts and concerns.

Josh Jackson, Tabasky’s husband, was among those who spoke on Friday.

“What I would hate to see happen is nothing — or nothing else,” he said. “I’ve heard it postulated that maybe we don’t need to take this kind of stuff very seriously because maybe this could have been a 5-year-old kid, who found the swastika in a book of ancient Hindu symbology, and maybe it’s not a hate crime. Do not do that. Do not do that. If you are educated enough to bandy about your knowledge of the swastika’s myriad meanings throughout history, then you are educated enough to understand why we must take this seriously.”

Jackson’s words were met with applause.

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