Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is under fire for employing such tactics following her administration's acknowledgment of putting together a roster of her staunchest critics and subsequently sharing it with local authorities, Fox News reported.
"The list was made in response to a request from the Boston Police Department after the Mayor had been harassed and physically intimidated by individuals for several months outside her home, at city functions such as the annual neighborhood parks coffee hours, and at other public events," Wu spokesman Ricardo Patron noted in a statement to the Boston Herald.
After opponents of Wu made a public records request, an email that was obtained revealed the existence of the document, prompting the administration to acknowledge its compilation.
Use of such tactics by the administration has sparked apprehension regarding Wu and her team's apparent efforts to stifle or intimidate her critics, particularly those who have staged protests in front of her residence.
"The request (from police) came after many of the individuals on the list repeatedly impeded the Dorchester Day Parade to harass Mayor Wu and her family and staff, yelling through megaphones at her and her children for nearly ninety minutes as they marched in the parade despite being asked by parade organizers to leave the parade route," Patron said, according to the Herald.
"Following the Dorchester Day Parade on June 5, 2022, Boston Police met with City staff on June 10 to make a safety plan for the upcoming Bunker Hill Day parade on June 12, and the then-Captain of the District overseeing Charlestown asked for a list of individuals who had been involved in public disruption and harassment of the Mayor at the Dorchester Day Parade and outside her house," Patron noted further. "The email was sent as a follow-up immediately after that meeting."
According to the Herald, some critics drew parallels between Wu's actions and the practices of the late President Richard Nixon, known for his notorious compilation of lists containing political opponents.
Sent by Dave Vittorini, the former Director of Constituent Services for Wu, to Boston Police Capt. Robert Ciccolo, the list contained the names of individuals identified as "Wu's most vocal opponents." As reported by the Herald, the list included Boston City Council at-large candidate Catherine Vitale, anti-vaccine activists who have been protesting outside Wu's residence, and North End restaurant owners who have expressed opposition to Wu's policies.
The list did not contain any explanation as to why the names were provided. But it also listed the "Mendoza Brothers from the North End" and "A woman with the last name of Thuy who was arrested before," the outlet reported.
Additionally, the email, sent after the mayor's home in the Roslindale neighborhood of Boston experienced loud protests last year, also included Tiffany Chu and Brianna Millor, both aides of Mayor Wu, who were copied on the communication, Fox News noted.
"Last year, an ordinance was passed in the city prohibiting protests outside of Wu's home during certain hours. Wu, the first woman and the first Asian-American to hold the top political office in Boston history, was sworn into office in November 2021," the network noted further.
Vitale, who is vying for one of the four at-large City Council seats, has been an outspoken critic of Wu. The Boston Accountability Network, a collective of Wu opponents, stated that others listed have participated in protests outside Wu's residence in Roslindale, the Herald reported.
Silencing critics appears to be a modern-day trait for Democrats who once protested on behalf of "free speech" on college campuses in the 1960s, whether it be via social media clampdowns or intimidating opponents into silence.