Nearly three months after demonstrators began gathering in the early mornings outside Mayor Michelle Wu’s Roslindale home to protest Boston’s vaccine mandates and coronavirus restrictions, City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo says his family is being targeted as well.
But when a small group of demonstrators gathered outside a Hyde Park home Monday morning, Arroyo wasn’t there. The house belongs to his mother, a 70-year-old retired Boston Public Schools teacher, he said on Twitter.
“She told them it wasn’t my home but they ignored her & kept on for hours,” he wrote. “City Hall is open and they can protest there. It’s clear the goal isn’t protest but targeted harassment and its wrong.”
The councilor, who is running for Suffolk district attorney, shared a photo on Twitter that shows the group gathered on the sidewalk at the end of his mother’s driveway, some holding signs and waving an American flag. There appear to be two Boston police officers standing nearby and a third speaking to the group.
Boston police confirmed that officers responded to a home in Hyde Park at 7:58 a.m. for a report of protesters gathering.
“Once the protesters concluded their affair, they departed from the area,” the police report said, according to Officer Stephen McNulty, a Boston police spokesman. The report did not indicate what time the demonstrators left.
Wu, who has been subjected to early morning protests outside her home on a routine basis since early January, retweeted Arroyo’s post with her own message.
“Cruel & disgusting. Leave our moms, families & neighbors out of it,” Wu wrote.
Cruel & disgusting. Leave our moms, families & neighbors out of it. https://t.co/SwkA99ELBt— Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@wutrain) March 21, 2022
In recent weeks, the city has rolled back some of its major COVID-19 restrictions as cases have dropped, including the proof of vaccine mandate and the indoor masking requirement.
The City Council is currently weighing an ordinance proposed by Wu that would ban protests outside private residences between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. City councilors will discuss the details of the ordinance during a working session Friday before taking a vote on whether to adopt the measure.
Some of Arroyo’s City Council colleagues also expressed their objections to the demonstration, including Council President Ed Flynn.
“Public protests at people’s homes must have limits,” Flynn wrote on Twitter. “These demonstrations are hurting our neighbors, seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans and young children. I agree with Councilor @RicardoNArroyo. Today’s demonstration at the home of his mother was targeted harassment!”
City Councilor Brian Worrell also chimed in on Twitter: “Unbelievable and uncalled for! Harassment in any form is never okay.”
At-large City Councilor Julia Mejia called the protest “unacceptable” in a tweet, while Councilor and State Senator Lydia Edwards said it was “ridiculous and disgusting.”
“His mother—Really? At this point it’s an excuse to harass & abuse,” Edwards wrote on Twitter. “Harassers go home.”
Nick Stoico can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.