Sarah Trafton reports for Columbia-Greene Media
about two signs, one in Cornwallville that said "Black Lives Matter" and one in Cairo that said “I Support Law Enforcement.” Recently, the Cornwallville sign was torn down, and someone painted "BLM" over the Cairo sign. Rob Handel put up his sign in Cornwallville after the Black Lives Matter march in Greenville on July 18. “I became aware of the hecklers that were there,” he said. “I stayed up until midnight painting that sign. I was struck by the discourse that day.... People in upstate New York — white people — would like to believe there is no racism in the county and I think anyone who grew up in the county knows that’s not true." Handel found most of the missing pieces of the sign, and put it back up; it now reads "Black Lives Matt." The Cairo sign was on Main Street outside Sunny’s Smoke Shop. The business across the street, Spirits of Cairo, posted on Facebook about the graffiti. "A willful act of juvenile delinquent petty crimes solve nothing. This is a very peaceful town of many different makeups. You not only defaced private property but have defaced this sleepy little town with your crime," the business wrote. This weekend there is a "Anti-Racism/Black Lives Matter
" gathering at 2 p.m. Aug. 9 in the Berne Town Park, in southern Albany County. There is also protest at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 in front of the Schenectady Public Library, and at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at 124 Canal St. in Ellenville. And Aug. 12 there are pro-Black Lives Matter rallies at 4:30 p.m. in Chatham, Ghent, and Kingston.