A state assemblyman from Queens is not thrilled about the swastika banner seen floating over Long Island beaches (in addition to Brighton and Manhattan beaches) over the weekend, despite being a paid advertisement for a religious group that believes Earth was scientifically created by extraterrestrials.
According to CBS New York, Assemblyman Phil Goldfelder is hoping to stop the Swiss-based International Raelian Movement from flying its swastika-laden banner again, which it does annually as part of what it calls its Swastika Rehabilitation Week. “There’s been a lot of precedent about regulation on signage in public places, and I think that we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect our families,” Goldfelder said.
The Raelians, who also support human cloning through their company, Cloneaid, disagree, saying attempting to keep their banner out of the airspace is an infringement on their First Amendment rights.
Even if the assemblyman gets his way, the Raelians have found plenty of other outlets through which to let their swastika banner fly. Guide Thomas Kaenzig said in a press release that they've "already held events in about 20 cities in Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and South America," as well as several in North America this past weekend.
Canada did, however, block them from buying ad space on a large billboard on the basis that "their message was too offensive."