The Sabotage hitmaker was among speakers at a weekend rally, which was hastily organised after equipment at Adam Yauch Park in New York was defaced with swastikas, hateful words and comments and pro-Donald Trump slogans.

Yauch, who lost his battle with cancer in May, 2012, was a practising Buddhist whose mother was of Jewish descent.

Addressing the crowds on Sunday, Ad-Rock said, "We're all here today because we're thinking the same thing: Painting swastikas on a children's playground is a messed-up thing to do.

"For many of us, it has special meaning, because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and bandmate for over 30 years. He was also someone who taught non-violence in his music, in his life, to all of us and to me."

The rally came less than two weeks after Donald Trump's shocking victory in the U.S. presidential election. Since his surprise win, anti-racist groups around America have noticed a sharp increase in hateful harassment.

New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents the neighbourhood where Adam Yauch Park is located, also spoke at the rally and told Rolling Stone magazine his diverse constituents have become victims of abuse and harassment since Trump's election win.

He said, "People seem to feel empowered by Trump to spew intimidation and discrimination. This should make us all worry about and focus on how to make sure that vandalism and intimidation doesn't beget violence, which doesn't beget the sorts of actions that divide the country and are frankly unconstitutional."