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Mayor Wu responds to early-morning protests outside her home

"I love this job & welcome accountability, but I don’t live in an isolated area. My next door neighbor is a 96-year-old veteran who deserves his sleep & we have so many families on our street with young kids who are getting woken up by the hate every morning."

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
Sgt. Shana Cottone (center) shouted a question to Mayor Michelle Wu as she stood across the street from Wu's home. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Mayor Michelle Wu has been grappling with backlash in response to the city’s new COVID-19 vaccine mandate, including disruptive early-morning protests at her home.

The citywide vaccine mandate went into effect on Saturday and requires all city employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or face termination. Saturday marked the first day workers must have received at least one vaccine shot.

Melissa George, who was formerly a corrections officer, used a bullhorn to protest the vaccine mandate outside of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s home.

It also kicked off the city’s B Together initiative, requiring patrons to show vaccination proof in order to enter certain indoor spaces, like restaurants, bars, gyms, and entertainment venues. Workers in those establishments must also be vaccinated.

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Around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Wu tweeted to a neighbor under her personal @wutrain handle to apologize for “daily sunrise protests” that brought heavy metal and grunge to their neighborhood.

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Followers took notice. One person called it “gross” that demonstrators were protesting outside Wu’s home and said they should “go away.”

To that, the mayor responded that she loves her new job and welcomes accountability, but pointed out that she lives in an urban neighborhood that is home to an elderly veteran and families with young kids. 

The mayor has also dealt with chants and comments likening her to a dictator. 

Wu said one of her two sons — aged 4 and 7 — asked during her 37th birthday celebration on Friday who else’s birthday it was because one chant that morning was “Happy Birthday Hitler.”

A protester stood across the street from Mayor Michelle Wu’s home.

“To have a chance at healing & building community, we can’t keep normalizing hate. They’ve shouted on megaphones that my kids will grow up without a mom bc I’ll be in prison,” Wu tweeted

Later Saturday morning, under her official mayor handle, @mayorwu, she shared a video to mark the first day of the city’s B Together initiative.

“Starting today, people ages 12+ will be required to show proof of 1 COVID vaccine dose to enter certain indoor spaces like restaurants, bars & gyms. Thank you for doing your part to keep our communities safe,” the tweet said.

That tweet garnered 125 comments over the next 24 hours — a mix of appreciation from supporters thanking Wu for her decisive leadership, and critics blasting the mandate and personally bashing the mayor.

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One critic shared a meme calling Wu a tyrant, while another just said “dictatorship.” 

But many of Wu’s supporters are coming to her defense.

“You are showing all the qualities of a great leader. Decisiveness, fairness, inclusive. You have our support and admiration. Stay strong,” another follower tweeted.

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