New York City Commuters Banded Together to Erase Antisemitic Subway Car Vandalism

Solidarity, let alone eye contact, isn’t easy to come by on the New York City subway, but on Saturday night, according to a Facebook post by 27-year-old lawyer Gregory Locke that’s gone viral, New Yorkers worked together to scrub swastikas and slurs from the walls of a train car.

Locke explains in his Facebook post that he boarded the Manhattan subway car on Saturday night to find, “Swastikas on every advertisement and every window.” Everyone in the car was silent, by Locke’s account, until one guy broke the ice by remarking, “Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie.” From there, a group of strangers, undoubtedly tired and desiring only to return home, got to work removing the antisemitic hate speech, together. And without calling the cops.


The New York Times tracked down Locke for further insights on the citizen cleanup. “The shock quickly subsides and turns into sort of a realistic horror,” Locke said, “especially once I realized how many instances of graffiti were on the train car.”

A separate incident, on the B train (Locke’s tale of heroism occurred on a 72nd Street-bound 1 train), prompted a response from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday.

The Grio reports that police are looking into recent incidents of antisemitic vandalism in Chicago and Houston as well.


I don’t know, who might it have been?

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About the author

Hannah Gold

contributing writer, nights