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Christmas Display Removed At South Hills Rail Center

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(Photo Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

The Inside Story with Marty Griffin
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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — A week ago, Tim Bell, a Port Authority worker and representative for the Amalgamated Transit Union, local 85, put up a small Christmas display in the South Hills Rail Center. On Friday, he found out that the display was being removed.

Bell says that an unnamed coworker filed a complaint, claiming that the decorations were offensive. That single complaint was all it took for officials to pull the decorations.

Bell says the display, which has been set up around the holidays at the South Hills Rail Center for at least ten years, consisted of a “Merry Christmas” banner, a small fiber optic tree, several plastic figures of Santa Claus, and several snowmen.

Regarding the banner, Bell said, “This person should have came to me and said, ‘I’m offended by that,’ and I would have took that down.”

Bell said that the display wasn’t meant to be discriminatory towards any particular faith.

“If someone’s Jewish and they want to put a menorah up, go buy it and put it up. If you want to celebrate Kwanzaa, go buy your own stuff and put it up,” he said.

The decorations were boxed up by a Port Authority human resources employee. There was no indication that there were plans to reinstall the display.

Union officials said that because of the single complaint, they were forced to take down the display. Bell said he plans to get thousands of signatures on a petition to overturn that one complaint.

KDKA’s Marty Griffin talked with Bell, asking why he thinks the display was removed and why he believes that the person who complained is hurting others who would have enjoyed the decorations.

Listen to the full interview:

Listen to the Inside Story with Marty Griffin every weekday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA!

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