ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) — Antisemitic propaganda was placed in at least one Little Free Library box in St. Petersburg’s Old Northeast neighborhood, according to residents.
Residents believe the flyers were put inside boxes sometime over the weekend.
St. Petersburg police documented the actions, but says they fall under “freedom of speech,” since the box was undamaged and no crime was committed.
However, the documents are being reviewed by the department’s investigative bureau in an effort to identify who placed them there.
“They were just so vile and so shocking,” said David Mokotoff, a neighborhood resident.
Mokotoff is Jewish and said the flyers spread hate and misinformation.
“Our antennas are up, and we’re sensitive about it obviously because the Jews have a saying after the Holocaust, saying ‘never again.”’
The Florida Holocaust Museum released a statement Monday, criticizing the material:
The Florida Holocaust Museum is appalled to learn that more antisemitic flyers were foisted on St. Pete residents this weekend. This time, bigots planted their lies in Little Free Libraries that serve as wholesome symbols of community and education, making the flyers even more offensive.
This disgusting behavior is part of a record-setting wave of antisemitism across America. Propelled by the lessons of the Holocaust, we must stand up and respond.
We applaud the Florida Legislature for introducing HB 269, which would allow law enforcement to hold antisemitic vandals and litterers accountable for their actions. Please join us in supporting HB 269 and make clear that our state is no place for hate.