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Boston will restrict demonstrations after anti-mandate protesters target the mayor and the mother of city councilman

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Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Local lawmakers in Boston, Massachusetts are seeking restrictions on political demonstrations after anti-mandate protesters harassed the mother of a city councilman and protested outside the home of the mayor.

City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo said that the anti-mandate protesters accidentally harassed his mother when they were seeking to protest outside his home instead.

"City Hall is open and they can protest there. It's clear the goal isn't protest but targeted harassment and its wrong," Arroyo tweeted with a photograph of the protesters.

"Cruel & disgusting. Leave our moms, families & neighbors out of it," responded Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.

Wu had previously claimed that protesters were keeping up her neighbors, including a 96-year-old veteran and many families with children.

"To have a chance at healing & building community, we can’t keep normalizing hate," Wu tweeted in January. "They’ve shouted on megaphones that my kids will grow up without a mom bc I’ll be in prison. Yesterday at dinner my son asked who else’s bday it was bc the AM chant was 'Happy birthday, Hitler.'”

In response to these kinds of incidents, Boston officials will vote on a proposal to restrict protests at residences of public officials to the hours from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

"The City is committed to the First Amendment right to protest, while upholding our responsibility to safeguard residents' privacy and the quality of residential life," read the statement from Wu. "This Order will augment existing prohibitions against excessive noise, disturbing the peace, and blocking of streets and sidewalks by providing clear guidelines around targeted residential picketing."

One city council member voiced concern that the ordinance might be used against minority activists.

“I’m concerned about the unequal enforcement of this ordinance on organizers of color. I’m concerned that using the police to enforce an ordinance like this, we have seen how the police in the past have cracked down disproportionally on organizers of color, LGBTQ organizers as well," said Julia Mejia.

“As a neighbor and a single mom who lives with her whole family, I get the impulse to want this ordinance, but we can’t be impulsive with our values as elected officials,” Mejia explained.

Wu implemented a public health mandate in December but the Boston Public Health Commission dropped the mask mandate on March 5 after a drop in coronavirus cases.

Here's more about the mandate in Boston:

Officials OK dropping Boston’s indoor mask mandate www.youtube.com

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