East Belfast MP Mrs Long was speaking after the removal of a significant number of posters in the Belfast, Lisburn and Strangford areas. One particularly sinister picture, which appeared on social media over the weekend, appeared to show two individuals dressed in paramilitary clothing standing beside a lamppost from which an Alliance poster was subsequently stolen and replaced by a Union flag.
Mrs Long said Alliance would not be silenced by those behind the thefts.
“Anyone who removes Alliance posters is clearly threatened by our determination to build a shared future for everyone.
“They are frightened by the democratic process, which has seen an increasing number of people voting for the progressive and inclusive politics of Alliance, while rejecting the sterile, ‘them and us’ politics of fear, which this kind of behaviour fosters.
“While the removal of these posters is an attempt to intimidate Alliance, like previous similar attempts where we came under pressure from bully boys, we will not be deflected from standing up for what we believe in, from taking our message to the electorate and representing those who have elected us.
“We have reported these crimes to the police and would encourage anyone with information to do likewise. Not only is it theft, but it is also a punishable offence to interfere with an election in this manner.”