On Friday evening, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson looked out the window of her Hillside neighborhood home and saw a caravan of "20 or more" trucks decorated with Trump flags.
The trucks circled the neighborhood, honking, revving their engines, and flashing their lights. She says she and her husband, Doug Zaun, stood in the window a while, waved, and then went back to eating dinner.
“If you’ve been on my Hillside street, you know that it’s narrow, unpaved, and not a great one for this kind of activation,” she wrote. “At one point they were at a literal standstill because of a traffic jam of their own making.”
On Friday night, a Trump truck parade came to my home & circled my neighborhood for 30 minutes in an attempt to bully and intimidate me.— Emily Larson (@LarsonForDuluth) October 5, 2020
Here is my response: pic.twitter.com/s1CfJcqlkZ
Larson said the impromptu parade appeared to be an attempt to “intimidate” her. Just before President Donald Trump’s rally in her city on Wednesday, she’d spoken out, calling him a “white supremacist” who “cares only about himself,” and was “disregarding the laws of health and safety for Minnesotans.” (One day after the rally, Trump himself tested positive for COVID-19, and Minnesota health officials are urging the 3,000-plus rally attendees to get tested as well.)
Larson said she wasn’t speaking out about the truck incident to garner sympathy.
“I feel strongly about my view, I shared it, and people are allowed to disagree with me,” she wrote.
But she said other neighbors had reached out to her with images and videos of the vehicles circling them in their cars, “yelling racist taunts and harassing others,” and she wanted to urge people to call 911 if this happened to them or anyone else.
State Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan responded to Larson’s tweet on Monday, saying, “A truck parade is not bullying. Using the mayor’s office to call Pres a white supremacist is,” and compared it to other confrontations in front of officials’ homes—including a protest in August in which demonstrators beat up some pinatas made to look like Minneapolis police union president Bob Kroll and his wife, WCCO reporter Liz Collins.
.@LarsonForDuluth— Jennifer Carnahan (@jkcarnah) October 5, 2020
Bully: “seek to harm, intimidate, coerce.”
A truck parade is not bullying. Using the Mayor’s office to call Pres a White Supremacist is (harm, intimidate, coerce).
Bullying - J. Thompson bashing piñata effigies.
Bullying - Harassers at W. Limmer’s home. https://t.co/2dcqSQCDij
Trump has been concentrating a lot of his attention on northern Minnesota, hoping pro-mining voters will be enough to flip those districts, and the state, in his favor. Six other mayors in the area—those of Chrisholm, Ely, Eveleth, Babbitt, Two Harbors, and Virginia—have all endorsed him.