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Park district removes pro-Palestinian graffiti, flyers left along Naperville Riverwalk

Pro-Palestinian vandalism was found along the Naperville Riverwalk over the weekend.

“Free Palestine” was spray-painted on a wall beneath the covered bridge near the Riverwalk’s Paddleboat Quarry, Naperville Park District Police Chief Steve Schindlbeck said.

Alongside the graffiti, 22 pro-Palestine flyers were posted. Park district police confirmed the vandalism after receiving a report about 11 a.m. Sunday, Schindlbeck said.

He has “no idea who would have done it,” Schindlbeck said, but steps are being taken to clear the graffiti from wall, which was a priority for the district’s maintenance department. The flyers were removed Sunday, he said.

Schindlbeck’s best guess was the paint and flyers went up overnight Saturday into Sunday, he said.

The vandalism comes after Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli announced the Naperville City Council would not be adopting a resolution on a Gaza ceasefire at last week’s council meeting.

For weeks, a group of residents and community members from neighboring suburbs have pushed council members to take a stand on the Israel-Hamas war — and chastised them for not addressing the issue locally.

Wehrli’s announcement last week triggered such vocal opposition from audience members that the meeting had to be paused for 10 minutes.

Schindlbeck said there’s “no way of knowing” if the incident will be a one-time-only occurrence or if “the person or persons who put it there would come back again.”

“It’s something that we’re simply going to have to try and manage,” he said.

tkenny@chicagotribune.com