TOMS RIVER-The Facebook page “Rise Up Ocean County” has apparently been shut down according to members of the group. Facebook did not respond to comment today, but Jackson NJ Strong, a page that is loosely affiliated with RUOC confirmed the shut down.
“We are sorry to report that it appears that Rise Up Ocean County has been taken down by Facebook. We reached out and the only answer we got through email was ‘the page was taken down’,” Jackson NJ Strong said. “What a horrible thing to do and we will miss them as an ally. More information when it becomes available.”
Rise Up Ocean County has been condemned by New Jersey political leaders on both sides of the aisle in recent months. The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders condemned the group as hate speech in February. Rise Up responded by threatening political defeats in the election booth in November, but incumbents Virginia Haines and Jack Kelly overwhelmingly won their election.
“Not since Benedict Arnold defected to the British and abandoned George Washington have we seen a betrayal as egregious as that perpetrated today by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic given that what took place was expected but, today the Freeholders sold out Ocean County for a few sheqels and a Lakewood Vaad endorsement for two candidates that will likely struggle in November,” the group responded in retaliation to their condemnation.
Freeholder Virginia Haines said at a Board of Freeholders meeting in January, “We live in the same communities. We work in the same communities, we all co-exist and that means we all have to have tolerance and respect for one another and that’s pretty much it in a nutshell,”
Freeholder Jack Kelly said some of the group’s postings were unacceptable.
In April, Governor Phil Murphy, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights called upon Facebook to shut the group down.
It is not clear whether today’s shutdown is a temporary ban on the account or a permanent one.
Update: At 4:30 pm Rise Up Ocean County’s page was back online.