ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Tensions are on the rise outside of a congressman’s office, just two weeks before Election Day.
A few dozen protesters have been outside Rep. Tom McClintock’s office every Tuesday and Thursday for about a month. They’re part of a series of protests that have dogged the congressman since President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
In recent weeks, a group of anti-protesters is joining them and many are afraid if the tensions aren’t addressed soon, someone can get seriously injured.
Cell phone video of a man in a red hat addressing protesters as “scumbags” shows part of what protesters say is a small group of harassing counterprotesters. The man can be seen in the video shouting personal insults and gay slurs.
“Incessantly verbally and occasionally physically, he’s in your face,” said organizer Barbara Boxer with a group known as the Ratt Pack.
One of the main counter-protesters is seen on video shouting personal insults and gay slurs.
It’s a contentious race in the 4th district that has prompted Roseville police to closely monitor the recent escalation.
“We have seen the tensions increase over the last few weeks. We’re just working to make sure violence doesn’t take place,” said Rob Baquera with Roseville Police.
Richard Martin lives nearby.
“Ninety-five percent of them are elderly women probably 65 years or older and they’re literally just peacefully protesting standing on the street holding signs and they are being physically and verbally harassed,” said Martin.
Martin says he was not aware of the protest, but had heard of the rising tensions and what was being directed toward the protesters.
“They’re invading personal space using very derogatory terms, yelling at them,” said Martin.
Barbara Brass with the Rat Pack Group says she respects freedom of speech rights but says it’s gotten out of hand.
“One woman’s hat and glasses were pushed off her face and stomped on. They can be out there, they can be across the street, but being in our face, or micro inches away from us is not serving and protecting,” said Brass.
Congressman McLintock has faced big crowds of protesters since President Trump took office and now just days before the June primary the hope is that things don’t escalate further.
“We’re constantly monitoring the situation so it doesn’t get to a level where there is violence or people getting hurt,” said Officer Baquera.
McClintock‘s office issued the following statements in response:
“For several months, people espousing a number of issues and causes have been demonstrating on the corner of an intersection in proximity to the Congressman’s district office. Being a federal office, the United States House of Representatives has no authority over the demonstrations or the actions of the participants. Local law enforcement agencies have that authority. Any inquiries regarding the demonstrations should be directed to those agencies.”
The next protest is scheduled for Thursday.