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Palin Effigy Taken down amid National Uproar
    2008-10-31 02:20:50     Xinhua

U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speaks at a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain in Hershey, Pennsylvania October 28, 2008. [Photo: Xinhua/Reuters]

After causing a nationwide controversy, a display that shows a likeness of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin hanging by a noose has been taken down, it was reported on Thursday.

ChadMichael Morrisette, a professional window display designer who set up the life-size mannequin of Palin, said Wednesday evening that he had decided it was best to remove the decoration, the Los Angeles Times said.

The life-size mannequin of Palin that hung from a noose around its neck in front of a house in West Hollywood of Los Angeles has sparked a national uproar, drawing the attention of the Secret Service and upsetting politicians.

The display includes a mock-up of presidential candidate John McCain sitting in a chimney surrounded by paper flames.

"There was a huge mob scene," Morrisette said of the onlookers and protesters the display attracted. "The whole thing became a life of its own."

Authorities in West Hollywood said the city assigned extra staffers to answer phone calls from around the country.

Morrisette got an inch-thick collection of e-mails about the effigy from hundreds of people, according to the paper.

Morrisette and his partner, Mito Aviles, said they set up the display three weeks ago. They said they decided to insert a little politics into their Halloween decorating because the holiday occurs days before the presidential election.

Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization of Women, said she believed the Palin display was particularly unacceptable because of its depiction of violence.

"It is a shock to the senses for those of us who work to stop violence against women to see such a public depiction of violence, " she said. "This has no place in a civilized dialogue. If you oppose Sarah Palin's policies, say why you oppose them."

But Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition and a free-speech expert, said the Palin display would fall under protected speech, as long as it was not made with the intent of inciting violence.

The Palin campaign declined to comment on the controversy.


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