News & Politics

Chicago Police Ban Protests on Mayor Lightfoot's Block

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The modern left-wing tactic of protesting at the private homes of their targets in an effort to intimidate them into doing what they want won’t work with Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The police say they’ve banned protests from the mayor’s block and will arrest anyone who doesn’t leave.

Lightfoot just isn’t radical enough for Black Lives Matter. She won’t defund the police (she didn’t just escape from a mental institution, after all) and refuses to condemn the officers for trying to keep order.

I wonder if the fact that Lightfoot enjoys police protection 24-7 has anything to do with her reluctance to criticize the cops too harshly.

Chicago Tribune:

“Please be advised that we are no longer allowing (any) protesters across the street from mayors (sic) residence … please make sure every officer in the house knows that if anyone shows up to protest (they) are to be immediately told that it is against the city code and state law to protest on a residential neighborhood,” Roman wrote. “They need to be told to leave immediately.”

After the first warning, Roman said, police should immediately secure the block as well as nearby St. Louis Avenue and Kimball “so that no other protesters come and join.” Protesters could stay by the church nearby, Roman said.

Not surprisingly, First Amendment activists are up in arms with the ban.

First Amendment attorney Matt Topic, who frequently represents clients who sue the city for violating public records law, questioned the city’s position.

“The city interpretation of the statute is on questionable constitutional grounds, and an administration that believes in accountability to the people wouldn’t try to ban picketing near the home of the mayor even if an argument could be made for its constitutionality,” Topic said.

But the ACLU was less certain.

“The Supreme Court has found that the government can prohibit protests at a single home in a residential area, but that does not necessarily extend to the entire block,” ACLU spokesman Ed Yohnka said in a statement. “The right to free speech and peaceable assembly includes the right to choose one’s audience, and government actions that limit that right for the sake of residential privacy must be narrowly tailored to protect that interest.”

It might be constitutional but that doesn’t make it right. But for the left, there are no lines that shouldn’t be crossed anymore. Politicians and others in the spotlight used to be able to keep their home life and professional life separate. It was a boundary that was rarely crossed.

Now it’s an accepted tactic. Trump officials were accosted on the street with their children, their homes were surrounded, some were threatened with bodily harm. We live in an age where there are no more boundaries and where violence can be threatened without consequence.

And it’s only going to get worse.

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