ADL says election-related hate on the rise: ‘antisemitism, racism, xenophobia & all forms of bigotry.’ – The Boston Globe

Posted By on October 25, 2020

The Anti-Defamation League has launched a new online reporting tool so members of the public can flag instances of potential hate crimes or disruptions related to voting, the organization said Tuesday.

In a statement, the ADL provided a link to the online reporting portal, which says that we are unfortunately seeing an alarming rise in election-related hate and extremism, both on and offline."

"There is no question that extremists are active in New England and continue exploiting the current political tensions surrounding the election, said Robert Trestan, ADL New England regional director, in the statement. ADL is operating with a heightened vigilance and committing our expertise to ensure everyone has the right to vote without fear or intimidation.

In addition to the online reporting form, the ADL said, members of the public can text hatehelp to 51555 for information on reporting extremist activity such as antisemitic or racist graffiti. The ADL added that its experts will be on standby to assess situations to determine whether reports should be made to law enforcement, polling officials or other government authorities.

The ADL said its directing people to call the non-partisan Election Protection coalition at 1-866-OUR-VOTE for any voting issues that arent extremist related.

In a separate statement, the FBIs Boston office said Tuesday that authorities arent aware of any specific threats targeting the Jewish community, though the bureau vowed continued vigilance.

The FBI has no specific, credible information that would suggest a pending threat to members of the Jewish community in our area, the bureau said. However, the FBI remains vigilant and, as we do every day, will continue to work with our law enforcement and community partners to detect, disrupt, and dismantle any threats that may emerge as everyone exercises their right to vote.

The FBI said it encourages members of the public to remain vigilant and immediately report any suspicious, election-related activity to us.

Tuesdays announcement from the ADL comes after federal and local authorities said Friday in Boston that theyre tracking hate groups on social media and will post federal monitors and police at polls across the state to protect voters from intimidation or threats during the presidential election.

A call by President Trump and the Republican National Committee for thousands of poll watchers to monitor voting locations on Election Day has triggered concerns about voter intimidation and violence by neo-Nazis and right-wing activists.

We will prepare for a worst-case scenario, said US Attorney Andrew Lelling to reporters Friday, detailing coordinated effort by law enforcement to prevent any unrest at the polls and respond quickly if any problems are reported on Election Day.

Massachusetts has seen multiple high-profile incidents of antisemitism over the last year and a half, including the arrest in April of a man for allegedly trying to firebomb a Jewish-sponsored assisted living facility in Longmeadow.

And in May of 2019, a string of arsons reported at Chabad centers in Needham and Arlington shocked both communities.

More recently in September of this year, a church in Great Barrington was a defaced with an antisemitic slur, according to the ADLs online tracker of such incidents, citing reporting from the Berkshire Eagle.

Hate and extremism related to the election are on the rise: antisemitism, racism, xenophobia & all forms of bigotry, the ADL tweeted Monday. If you witness or experience any such incident, text hatehelp to 51555 & we can immediately start investigating.

Shelley Murphy of the Globe staff contributed to this story. Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.

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ADL says election-related hate on the rise: 'antisemitism, racism, xenophobia & all forms of bigotry.' - The Boston Globe

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