Minneapolis mayor threatened by far-left activists

"I think right now is probably the most concerned I've ever been about Jacob's physical safety since he's been in office," Frey's wife said.

The progressive mayor of Minneapolis is fearing for his life since receiving an uptick in death threats from left-wing extremists, nearly three years after the unrest over the police-involved death of George Floyd.

Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey and his wife, Sarah Clarke, told the Star Tribune of their woes, recounting the violent messages and vandalism they've been victim to over time.

"I think right now is probably the most concerned I've ever been about Jacob's physical safety since he's been in office," Clarke said.

"Taking a position against this kind of thing should not be hard," Frey said. "It should be a prerequisite for entering public service. Part of what we uphold is the institution of democracy. This is an attack on our ability to exercise democracy. On more than one occasion, I've known public officials to change their positions out of fear for themselves or their family."

In February, Frey called attention to three Minneapolis City Council members complaining that activists physically threatened and intimidated them for not voting their way after a meeting, including an instance in which one legislator said she was briefly trapped on an escalator and feared for her safety.

As the Tribune reported at the time, the left-wing activists were angry over the city's "planned demolition of a vacant building," citing racial justice and environmental concerns. During the council meeting, they yelled profanities and reached over the dais where the members were seated. They also reportedly "banged on walls and doors outside the offices of Mayor Jacob Frey."

"Local governments face no shortage of tough issues to debate. Ensuring the safety of elected officials and sanctity of the democratic process shouldn't be one," Frey tweeted at the time. "Would we accept this from far-right, pro-gun, anti-abortion people? No, because it's wrong."

The comments from some of his left-wing constituents lacked sympathy.

"Using and then gaslighting marginalized & vulnerable communities is the definition of abuse. anger is a response to abuse & trauma," one Minneapolis Twitter user who identifies as an "abolitionist" wrote. "did u seriously compare environmental activists to fascists?"

To the Tribune, Frey said that when he decided to run for office, he was "signing up for some level of discomfort and occasionally abuse."

"I knew that going in. That's always been the case. But the dynamic and what has been deemed acceptable has increased drastically," he claimed.

Back In January, the front door of Frey and Clarke's apartment building was vandalized with a painted message: "Kill the mayor." Just days after the graffiti was removed, "Kill the mayor, Pt. 2" appeared on the entrance.

"Sarah usually is the first to leave the home and take a run," Frey told the outlet. "When you walk downstairs and see kill your husband on the window, she didn't sign up for that."

Images of the Democratic mayor with his eyes crossed out have also reportedly been posted on their building.

Clarke recounted another experience, when she realized that an anonymous Twitter account that had posted videos recorded from across the street into the windows of the couple's apartment was a neighbor with a history of violence.

"Twitter has deactivated the account, and the person has since moved farther away from them — but not out of their neighborhood," the outlet reported.

"I still see him sometimes at the grocery store," Clarke, an attorney and former lobbyist, said.

"We've had people climb our fire escape," Frey added, noting that it's now fenced off from the public.

According to the couple, whose two-year-old child lives with them in the apartment, the recent threats are coming from the far left, while the threats coming during the era of Covid lockdowns were coming from the far right.

"He and Clarke said they believe the most recent wave of threats are coming from a small group of people objecting to city policies regarding homeless encampments and the city's plans to demolish the Roof Depot to expand an adjacent public works facility in the East Phillips neighborhood," reporter Dave Orrick wrote.

"You certainly expect it's not going to be easy, but I didn't expect this level of violence and threats," Clarke said. "We've been debating on whether or not we will try to have another kid. There's no room in our apartment, so we'd need a house, but we'd worry about our security in a house and for our neighbors... I feel really fortunate that our child is 2 right now. I really don't know how we'll explain this to her when she gets older."

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