Protesters Retaliate After Arrest Near McConnell's Home, Storm Nearby Business

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One of the most dispiriting developments of the recent protest movement is the concept that demonstrating outside of someone’s place of residence is perfectly appropriate.

It isn’t to disparage the act of protest, but rather the implied context of demonstrating outside of someone’s home. It’s saying, “We know where you live, and we’ll make sure you don’t have any peace there.” This is especially problematic when you consider most of these protest groups have demands no electable politician could embrace.

Witness, for instance, what happened to Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler — a man of and for the political left who was nevertheless not left enough for protesters who threw burning debris in retail space beneath the condominium complex he lived in last month:

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Keep in mind, this was retail space that was getting trashed, too. Wheeler’s apartment was still warm, cozy and untouched — even if the mayor was likely a bit unnerved by the whole experience.

I’m not sure if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell felt the same discomfiture when protesters gathered outside his residences in both Louisville, Kentucky and Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of Friday’s death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What we know is that the proprietors of a local CVS in Louisville felt some heat after they got some of the blowback from Saturday’s protest.

According to the Louisville Courier Journal, several demonstrators stormed the store about 2:45 p.m. after another protester was arrested outside of the store.

“An officer on the scene said the department had planned to tow the woman’s vehicle because she was not patronizing the business,” the paper reported.

“And after the woman went inside the story to purchase ‘a six-pack of beer’ so that her car would not be towed, the officer arrested her on charges of disorderly conduct and an improper parking violation, according to a video from Courier Journal reporter Hayes Gardner.”

The woman was taken to jail after that:

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This, apparently, set the protesters against the pharmacy, I’m guessing because it dared to report the woman for using the business as protest parking.

“Following the arrest, several protesters entered the CVS, where they chanted in the store. One kicked a glass door, damaging it,” the Courier Journal reported.

“Officers entered the store and asked everyone who was not shopping to leave. Shortly after, members of [Louisville police’s] special response team arrived to clear the scene.”

Are protests outside of elected officials' homes a sign of worse trouble coming?

The protest was (you’ll never believe this) “mostly peaceful” before the CVS incident, even though it had been declared an unlawful assembly because the protesters were in the street and refused to stick to the sidewalk, telling police that as long as traffic could pass they had every right to be there. The police decided, not unreasonably, that they didn’t.

“If there’s anybody on the road, it’s unlawful,” an officer told protesters who had surrounded one of their police vehicles. “You have to stay on the sidewalks.”

This led to a conversation with a police officer about de-escalation tactics in which it didn’t seem the protesters were particularly interested in de-escalating:

Here’s the thing one thing that’s instructive in these videos: The kind of protesters who will show up at someone’s home aren’t necessarily your run-of-the-mill protesters. They’re not the emphatic-if-peaceful types who will show up at a march with a placard and a bullhorn and make themselves heard.

The kind of demonstrator that’ll surround a cop car or the uniformed occupant of it isn’t the type to be sated with that kind of constitutionally protected outlet. They don’t want you to know that they’re there to emphasize their power in numbers. They want you to know they’re there because they want you to know it only takes a few people like them to threaten your personal safety.

After the shooting of Deon Kay in Washington, D.C., last month, protesters descended upon the house of Mayor Muriel Bowser. “If we don’t get no justice, then you don’t get no sleep,” demonstrators chanted. “If we don’t get it, burn it down.”

Saying that you’re going to “burn it down” outside someone’s house isn’t just idle talk. This, by the way, was after a police shooting in a Democrat-run city with a very liberal mayor.

We’re now going to enter the most contentious Supreme Court nomination in our country’s history and these individuals are gathering outside of the houses of the Republican Senate majority leader. I guarantee you, they’re capable of something a bit more dangerous than kicking the door of a CVS.

Let this be a warning to us: If we countenance this, none of our elected officials are safe. And no one else is either.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture