Protesters demonstrate outside Hawley’s home over electoral college challenge as he accuses them of intimidation

Hawley claims protesters tries to ‘pound’ door open as they leave copy of constitution on doorstep and ring doorbell

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 05 January 2021 20:20 GMT
Josh Hawley dodges question on election challenge

A small group of protesters gathered outside Senator Josh Hawley's Virginia home on Monday night to protest the Republican's decision to reject the results of the presidential election during the congressional certification process on Wednesday.

Mr Hawley called the protesters "Antifa thugs" and claimed they threatened his wife and daughter and tried to pound open the door, while he was in Missouri.

A 50-minute stream on YouTube shows about 15 protesters spending around half an hour outside the house shouting through megaphones, lighting candles, writing in chalk on the sidewalk, and holding signs with messages like "Trump Lost," and "Senator Hawley. This is not presidential. Cease and desist". 

The demonstrators chanted phrases like “Hawley, Hawley, shame on you” and “Due diligence has been done, Biden-Harris have won".

The video shows police officers asking the protesters to quiet down, but not intervening in their protest, instead standing by and looking on. The protesters leave the house after peacefully speaking to police officers, the video shows.

The protest was organised by ShutDownDC, an organisation which "uses strategic direct action to advance justice and hold officials accountable," according to their website.

At one point, the video shows four of the protesters walking up to the door and briefly interact with someone inside the house. They appear to walk back to the sidewalk after less than two minutes. The protester leading the group to the house says in the video that he's walking up to the doorstep to leave a copy of the constitution. The video then shows him bending down in front of the door to leave a small item on the ground.

The Youtube channel "alchymediatv" has uploaded about 140 videos of various events over the last seven years. Most of the videos have clocked less than a hundred views. The video outside Mr Hawley's house is approaching 150,000 views.

Conservative activist and podcast host Charlie Kirk called the protesters "Democrat terrorists" and demanded their immediate arrest.

“This was not threatening behaviour. This is people engaging in democracy and engaging in civil discourse... This was a pretty tame and peaceful visit to his house,” said 37-year-old Patrick Young, a ShutDownDC organizer and research analyst at a nonprofit, according to The Washington Post.

Mr Young said that the group went to Mr Hawley's house because congressional offices have been shut down by the pandemic.

It has become more common for protesters to gather outside the homes of politicians. In September, protesters lit a fire outside the home of Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Protests have also taken place outside the homes of the Democratic mayors of St Louis, Chicago, and Washington DC. 

In December, armed protesters surrounded the home of the Michigan secretary of state, alleging voter fraud.

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the director of ICE Tony Pham have also had crowds gather outside their homes, holding signs and chanting.

While Mr Hawley claimed they tried to pound the door open, Mr Young said they used the doorbell when leaving the copy of the constitution on the doorstep. 

The video from the group shows a woman opening the door of Mr Hawley's house at one point, sternly telling them that she has “neighbours and a baby". 

A man also approached from the other side of the street in the residential area to ask why the group was "disturbing the neighbourhood".

Mr Young told The Washington Post that three police vehicles were present for the majority of the demonstration.

13 Republican senators and at least 140 House Republicans intend to reject the results of the election when Congress meets to certify the electoral college votes on Wednesday.

Protests by Trump supporters and the far-right group Proud Boys have been planned to try to pressure lawmakers to overturn the election or prevent them from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's win.

You can see the entire stream of the protest below.

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