NY Times: Taking protests to private homes is the left's hot new trend

The NY Times published a story today about the growing trend of activists taking protests away from city centers and instead bringing them to the private homes of mayors and city counsel members. Most of the people on the receiving end don’t think this is a good trend.

SEATTLE — The city was exploring a proposal to cut 50 percent of the police department’s budget to promote racial justice and alternatives to policing last month, but Debora Juarez, the first enrolled Native American on the Seattle City Council, was not yet willing to throw her support behind such a steep cut without a plan for how to carry it out…

Over several days and nights, activists have appeared on her street in North Seattle, shining lights into her windows, shouting at her through a bullhorn and scrawling messages in the street: “Corporate bootlicker,” one of the messages said…

“It’s not a peaceful protest — it’s terror,” Ms. Juarez said.

Last month in Oakland, protesters showed up at the home of Mayor Libby Schaaf. This 2 am protest was also over the police budget. The Times reports that when Schaaf heard the noise outside she became afraid for her children:

Frightened, she thought first of her 14-year-old son, who was asleep upstairs, and her 12-year-old daughter, who was away at a sleepover.

“I did what any mother would do — I ran upstairs to my children’s bedroom,” Ms. Schaaf said…

“This felt like a threat that certainly had a violent tone,” Ms. Schaaf said. “And the intense damage to our property was significant.”

In Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan also had protesters show up at her house, despite her extensive efforts to keep her address a secret. (Among other things, she doesn’t order delivery pizza to avoid giving out her address.)

Protesters were able to find where she lives anyway, and wrote messages outside her home, including “Guillotine Jenny.” Ms. Durkan, the first openly lesbian mayor in the city’s history, also received messages containing crass sexual suggestions…

Ms. Durkan said she had no problem with people who want to criticize, like the hundreds who jeered at her when she spoke with protesters outside City Hall earlier this year. Facing public criticism is part of the job, she said. But she said the exposure of her home address, combined with threatening messages on the street and in her email inbox, has left her feeling unsafe.

The Times deserves some credit for pointing out a pattern that reflects badly on leftist activists, but the piece remains pretty agnostic about the practice of protesting at people’s homes. In one case the story describes a Seattle City Council member, Teresa Mosqueda, who met with protesters who showed up at her home as something of a success. The Times doesn’t mention that a group of protesters attacked a neighbor who asked them to quiet down last month while they were on the way to Mosqueda’s house.

I’m glad the progressive mayors of these cities are willing to call out the protesters for going too far. It’s just a shame that they only do it when the revolution comes to their neighborhood. Back when CHAZ took over part of someone else’s neighborhood, Mayor Durkan compared it to a block party. But it wasn’t a block party, at least not at night when residents were left to fend for themselves against armed people roaming the streets. Maybe this is what it takes for progressive leaders to get the message.