By Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) — Phil Haggerty and Olivia Mignosa spent their night ripping down dozens of what they describe as “white supremacist posters” plastered on trees and poles all over East Boston.

“I was shocked. I think their message is one of hate,” Mignosa said. The couple told WBZ-TV they removed more than 50 signs on Meridian Street, Maverick Square, and Central Square Park.

“Ultimately to promote to white nationalism, ethnonationalism. They are Neo-Nazis, it’s without exaggeration they are,” Haggerty said.

A flyer found in East Boston (Photo Courtesy: Tina St. Gelais Kelly)

Tina St. Gelais Kelly said she also spotted the signs while taking her kids to the school bus Friday morning. “And my children asked a lot of questions of ‘why would I rip them down?’ and I had to say that they were a racist organization,” she said. “No one is going to terrorize this neighborhood.”

Patriot Front, the group on the posters, did not return WBZ-TV’s request for comment. Their website indicates activists placed banners in other cities as well over the course of the 36 hours.

“Building stronger families is what they said with a picture of two white people and lifting them up… I was angry when I was ripping them down,” Kelly said.

A flyer found in East Boston (Photo Courtesy: Tina St. Gelais Kelly)

It appears all the signs have been taken down.

Haggerty, Mignosa, and Kelly all said one of the reasons they moved to East Boston because of its diverse community, so the signs feel like an attack on their neighborhood.

“It’s not an accident that they are being plastered in this neighborhood: this is a neighborhood of immigrants, a diverse community. I just thought it was the least we could do to take an hour out of our nights to go rip them down,” Haggerty said.

And if they see the signs again, they vow to rip them down again. “We have zero tolerance for racism and white nationalism in East Boston,” Kelly said.

Paul Burton

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