BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu filed an Ordinance on Monday, proposing to the City Council that targeted residential picketing or protests should have time windows when they are not allowed.
Wu said in a letter to the City Council that the Ordinance would not prohibit picketing in residential areas or marches that pass through, but apply "parameters to protect residents' well-being through reasonable restrictions on picketed directed at a specific residence only at night and in the early morning."
Wu also detailed in her letter that the order would augment existing prohibitions against excessive noise, disturbing the peace, and blocking of streets and sidewalks with clear guidelines of targeted residential picketing.
The Ordinance would outlaw targeted residential picketing in Boston between the hours of 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. The order would be enforced by the Boston Police Department and anyone found to be in violation would be fined a hundred dollars for the first offense, two hundred for the second, and three hundred dollars for the third and subsequent offenses.
According to the Ordinance, "targeted residential picketing" means protesting or demonstrating towards a particular residence or one or more occupants of the residence.
“This ordinance will add to our existing laws to stop harassment of residents in their private homes, while respecting the right to protest,” said Acting Commissioner and Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory P. Long. “People have a right to privacy and peace in their homes.”
“Boston has a strong legacy of activism, and it’s important to uphold and protect the ability to speak out and advocate fiercely to keep our democracy strong,” said Wu. “But in a moment of divided national politics, we can’t normalize the harassment and hate spilling over into our communities. Boston must model not only bold, urgent policies, but also inclusive, empowering politics.”
Boston First Responders United, a city worker group formed in opposition to Wu's previous COVID-19 vaccine mandate, said that the ordinance was self-serving.
"This is partisan agenda playing out before our very eyes. When the issues being protested fit Michelle Wu's views- it was OK. Now, because she is the target, not so much," the BFRU said on Twitter.
The Ordinance was sent to the Boston City Council for consideration of passage.