Massachusetts Republicans are taking aim at U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley after the freshman congresswoman called for continued “unrest” in the streets over lack of movement on police reform.

“There needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives,” said Pressley, D-Mass., over the weekend.

Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons said it’s easy to see how Pressley’s comments earned widespread condemnation from conservatives and said the congresswoman “ought to explain exactly what she means.”

“Maybe the congresswoman isn’t aware of what is happening in Portland and in Chicago. Maybe she forgot what happened in Boston with the looting and rioting and the violence. Maybe she ought to be more thoughtful about what she has to say,” Lyons said.

“This kind of outrageous rhetoric has to stop. These folks — the Democrats — want to divide America. Republicans want to unite it,” Lyons said.

There is no indication Pressley was making a threat with her comments. Her office did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

Rayla Campbell, a Republican and Pressley’s only opposition in the upcoming elections, blasted the congresswoman on Twitter.

“She wants Boston to resemble Portland or Chicago. Her bigotry and violence is unwelcome here in Massachusetts,” Campbell wrote on Twitter before making a plug for votes.

Campbell is running a write-in campaign to get on the November ballot.

Pressley’s comments follow months of protests over police brutality in cities across the U.S. that erupted following the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police.


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