Naked City

Street-to-Street Sign Wars

Peace activist Doug Foxvog, who lives in the Barrington Oaks neighborhood in Northwest Austin, says that over the weekend his house once again became the target of pro-war activists who don't seem to believe property rights apply to opponents of the Iraq war. His house was egged for the second time. The peace flag flying outside his house was stolen for the third time -- "I had it handcuffed to a tree limb, but the flag was ripped out of its grommets." His "American for Peace" yard sign was stolen for the fourth time. And someone else's peace yard sign was left in his yard "after being riddled by a shotgun blast and partially burned." His next-door neighbors' "Support President Bush and the Troops" yard signs and U.S. flag were left alone, he says.

Foxvog has reported the incidents to the police, erected a new peace flag in his yard, and restaked the shotgun-riddled "American for Peace" sign. Meanwhile, his neighbors are succumbing to the intimidation: One recently sold her peace flag at a yard sale "because she was afraid to hang it in her front yard," Foxvog said. "I do not think that people in our neighborhood should be frightened or intimidated by vandals who oppose their politics."

Of course, vandals come on both sides. One South Austin resident recently complained on a neighborhood listserv that just hours after posting a "We Support Our Troops and Our President" sign in her front yard, it had disappeared. "We are not sure whether we will put up another sign because we think it's silly to have a sign contest over something as serious as a war," she wrote.

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