BURRILLVILLE – Two 3 X 5 flags proclaiming support for presidential candidate Joe Biden – and encouraging voters to “dump,” his political rival – have twice been vandalized. But that won’t stop Dan Dupuis from proclaiming his preference for the upcoming election.
Dupuis, a 65-year-old who works as a probation officer in the Woonsocket, hung the flags at the end of his driveway on East Wallum Lake Road. Anticipating a negative reaction, Dupuis put two flags, back-to-back bound together with a third solid color flag to make them harder to rip down.
The flags, proclaiming “Dump Trump,” and “Biden for President 2020,” were up for five days before they were ripped from the metal pole.
One of Dupuis’s neighbors found the display down the street and brought it back, and the second time, he hung the flags higher, screwing them to a wooden plank.
The second time they lasted for three days before disappearing.
Dupuis notes he was prepared for the vandalism and had already bought extra.
Now, his flags hang even higher – some 12 feet up and horizontal, and he notes he’ll continue to replace them through the November election.
Dupuis, who also works as a clinical social worker, notes he didn’t report the incidents to police because he knows they have bigger concerns. He notes the “motivation could be pranks by kids, or scared and angry Trump supporters desperate to squash political free speech.”
“There is a long tradition of political hooliganism during campaigns,” Dupuis said.
Still, he’s appealing to others to respect both his property and his right to express his political beliefs. He notes that the perpetrators could be charged with vandalism or damage to property.
He’s curious if other town Democrats are experiencing such actions in a town that in recent years has voted decidedly to the right.
“A house down the street had a Biden lawn sign and I noticed yesterday that it was gone,” Dupuis said.
And if the flags disappear again, he says, he’s ready: he can get more online within 24 hours.