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Dueling groups organize late-night protests outside homes of DC politicians

D.C. Councilmember Anita Bonds compared the protest tactics used by one group to those of the KKK.

WASHINGTON — A newly formed group calling itself "Protect Black Women" staged a 25-minute protest outside the home of D.C. Council At-Large candidate Ed Lazere Wednesday night. 

Walking down the street in Northeast D.C. at 10 p.m., they carried signs, shouted through megaphones and demanded Lazere emerge and apologize for his support and endorsement of the group Sunrise Movement D.C. Lazere spoke with WUSA9 and called the protest "a bit intimidating." 

Lazere said he supports the notion that sometimes you have to be forceful in order to get the attention of a policymaker or political candidate, but not intentionally intimidating. 

RELATED: 'Fire Newsham' | Protesters gather outside DC mayor's home after officer shoots, kills man in SE DC

He said he considered coming out of his home to address the protestors, but decided against doing so because the group was not protesting a policy issue. Instead, he said he was waiting for his campaign manager to arrive to record his interaction with the group to ensure nothing was taken out of context. 

By the time his campaign manager arrived, Lazere said, the group had already left. 

The prior Friday, members of the Sunrise Movement had staged a late-night protest outside the home of 75-year-old African-American D.C. Councilmember Anita Bonds. They stayed until nearly midnight protesting her political actions on housing in the District and her support of D.C. developer Marcus Goodwin, who is running against Lazere for the Council At-Large position. 

Bonds compared the group's protest tactics to those used by the KKK.

RELATED: 'These are tactics the KKK used' | DC councilmember says protestors outside her home crossed a line

The protest at Lazere's home was prompted by anger at an interview he did with the Sunrise Movement and published on YouTube where he indicated his support for protests at the homes of politicians. 

"All of the energy around policy brutality .. in the face of policymakers, at their homes .. that's the kind of thing that puts pressure," Lazere said in the interview

Lazere told WUSA9 he believes this type of protesting should be conducted "within some rules of general civility." For instance, he indicated a raucous protest at 3 a.m. at someone's home would be considered unreasonable. 

D.C. Council candidate Marcus Goodwin issued a statement Wednesday criticizing the protestors and their actions.

Following allegations shared on Twitter that Goodwin or his campaign may be connected to the protest at Lazere's home, Goodwin tells WUSA9 neither he nor his campaign had any involvement in the protest. 

But Lazere said he finds that "a little hard to believe." His campaign issued a statement on Thursday affirming his support of the right to protest and his endorsement of the Sunrise Movement DC.

Notably, Lazere is not the only person who lives in the home targeted by the "Protect Black Women" protest. Lazere's wife is a Black woman and they have two sons together

Credit: Courtesy Ed Lazere
D.C. Council At-Large Candidate Ed Lazere with his wife and two sons.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details soon.

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