The Washington Post defended left-wing protesters who stood outside the home of Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, whose wife and newborn son were harassed at their personal residence in Washington D.C.
Described as a “candlelight vigil” by members of the Antifa-affiliated group ShutDownDC, activists shouted at Hawley’s family through a megaphone and confronted his wife at her doorstep. The Post regurgitated the activists' description of the protest and called it “peaceful.”
“The activists said they had staged a peaceful vigil on Monday night to protest a GOP plan to object to Congress’s certification of the presidential electoral vote this week. On the sidewalk in a Northern Virginia suburb, a group of 15 people chanted while holding candles and signs saying, ‘Protect democracy,’” the Post claimed.
Hawley rejected the Antifa group’s description of the protest, which he said included threatening his family and vandalizing his home.
“Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel,” Hawley wrote on Twitter. “They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by left-wing violence,” he said on Twitter.
“Now ‘vigil’ means screaming threats through bullhorns, vandalizing property, pounding on the doors of homes and terrorizing innocent people and children,” he continued.
Claims of the so-called “peaceful vigil” were debunked on social media after video of the protestors' activities surfaced on Twitter.
The Post downplayed the actions of the left-wing activists despite video evidence that they shouted through a megaphone and marched onto the doorstep of Hawley’s home, where they confronted Hawley’s wife. Protesters also argued with neighbors who asked them to be quiet.
Demonstrators with ShutDownDC, which organized the protest, told the Washington Post that they did not engage in vandalism or even knock on Hawley’s door. A 50-minute video shared by the group shows protesters writing in chalk on the sidewalk, chanting through a megaphone and at one point leaving a copy of the Constitution on Hawley’s doorstep.
“This was not threatening behavior,” said Patrick Young, a ShutDownDC organizer. “This is people engaging in democracy and engaging in civil discourse… This was a pretty tame and peaceful visit to his house.”
Police in Vienna, Va., who responded to the protest, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Post late Monday. The group’s video shows several officers asking protesters to quiet down, but then standing by as the crowd continued with its demonstration.
The protest was not on the level of a typical Antifa riot, but the claim that the protesters behaved “peacefully” stretches the definition of the term. As the Daily Wire’s Ashe Schow states, “Those actions, late at night, could be considered frightening to a new mother, especially one who likely paid attention to the political riots this summer.”