As the US Presidential election approaches, an ardent supporter of US President Donald from New Bedford, Massachusetts, has been faced with a unique problem—continuous theft of Trump campaign signboards from his front yard. This has prompted him to raise an electrified fence around the latest signboard installed in his house.
John Oliveira, a 54-year-old Navy veteran, and a member of the New Bedford School Committee, was forced to put up the fence after nearly half a dozen campaign signboards disappeared from his Brownell Avenue home in the city's West End. "It hasn't been touched in two weeks since the electric fence went up," he said.
'Defending' His Property
After having had enough of these thefts, the fence—which is nearly 3 1/2 feet high and shaped in a triangular shape with yellow and black safety wire—was erected by Oliveira. The fence is also accompanied by three signboards that say, "Caution Electric Fence," in three languages—English, French and Spanish. Also, the fence is solar-powered. "I'm defending my property and my right to free speech," he told the South Coast Today. "This is about my right to free speech."
Oliveira said that the signboards began missing in July. Initially, he placed two of them along the walkway. However, after a few weeks, they vanished. "So I'm saying, 'Alright, some freakin' moron stole the signs,' " he told The Boston Globe. "No big deal. **** happens." However, two more signboards that he placed next disappeared as well.
The veteran filed at least two complaints with the police. However, he did not expect any headway from them. After dismissing the idea of installing a surveillance camera, he purchased the materials required for erecting the fence from a farm supplies store and set the structure up. "This is more than just somebody being a jackass," he said. "People are messing with my personal property, and it's costing me money. And it's my right to free speech, especially on my own property."
Targeting His Political Beliefs
Olivera stated that the thefts were not directed at him. Rather, they were aimed at Donald Trump, who he began supporting after relinquishing his longtime support for the Democratic Party. "It's not vandalism because of the number of times it has happened," he told the South Coast Today.
When asked about his support for the President, he said, "I think Trump is about keeping America on track." Oliveira added, "It's about mutual respect. It's not about taking people's signs because you don't agree with what they have to say."
However, the navy veteran did add that his method of defending his rights would have been very different had he resided in a different state. "If this was elsewhere, I'd be standing out there with an AR-15, protecting my property," he declared to The Boston Globe.