***Updated with comment from a Democratic Party spokesperson at 5:15 p.m.***
An e-mail message sent to Xpress this morning announced that the Buncombe County Democratic Headquarters had been “trashed in opposition to oil drilling and war.” The e-mail, sent in the name of a group purportedly called Citizens Hoping Against New Gas Emissions, took credit for spilling motor oil on the front porch and painting the words “No war / No warming / No Drilling” on the walls of the headquarters, which is located on Old Fairview Road in Asheville. The vandalism occurred last night, according to the message.
Kathy Sinclair, chair of the party, confirmed that vandalism had occurred. “We were vandalized. I would not say that they trashed our headquarters — our headquarters is intact,” she told Xpress after hearing the contents of the e-mail. “There was some oil — I wouldn’t necessarily say it was several gallons, as they are saying — and they definitely wrote those words on our building. The side of the building’s going to have to be cleaned up. I don’t think [the cleanup] is going to be expensive. We are continuing business as usual.”
Sinclair added that the headquarters staff have filed a police report and notified their insurance company, and that Asheville police had visited. The vandalism is estimated to have occurred between midnight and 9 a.m.
The sender of the e-mail was listed as “Janelle Anderson.” The e-mail was signed as “Citizens Hoping Against New Gas Emissions,” which appears intended to form the acronym “CHANGE.”
“It’s ‘change’,” Sinclair observed when the name was read to her. “Well, that’s our candidate,” she said, referring to the message of change put forth by Sen. Barack Obama, the party’s presumptive nominee for president.
Later in the day, Sinclair released a statement responding to the incident, which reads: “The acts of vandalism committed against the Buncombe County Democratic Party last night were cowardly and criminal. There is no place in politics, or society at large, for this type of behavior. Honest protest and debate are healthy for a democracy like ours. However, for these individuals to resort to criminal behavior is unacceptable, and we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
The full text of the e-mail from the purported vandals is reprinted below.
— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor
Last night, on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, we trashed the Democratic Party Headquarters in Asheville, NC. We dumped several gallons of used motor oil onto their front porch and painted, “No war, No warming, No Drilling” on their walls.
We took this action to express our outrage at the Democrats pandering to the oil companies. Instead of looking for real solutions to global warming, the Democratic party, including the head honcho himself, Barack Obama, is pushing to open up more of our fragile coastal ecosystems to oil drilling. If this plan is allowed to go forward thousands of miles of coastline could be devastated by this toxic industry. All the while, greenhouse gas emissions will escalate, and our Earth’s climate will teeter closer to the tipping point.
Meanwhile the Democrats continue to fully support the war on terror. While making half hearted gestures about ending the Iraq war, they have remained unabashed supporter of the war in Afghanistan. One recent highlight of this “just” war was the massacre of over 90 civilians at a wedding last week. Democrats, may the ghost of these innocents haunt you for the rest of your lives.
This action was taken in solidarity with all those in the streets of Denver, and people around the world who refuse to be silent.
Citizens Hoping Against New Gas E.missions