When is a protest not a protest?

Looks like those SEIU thugs who descended on a Bank of America executive's private home weren't interested in protesting as much as they were trying to intimidate and smear.

Nina Easton, writing in Fortune , is a neighbor of the executive and reports what she witnessed:

Now those strong-arm tactics, stirred by supposedly free-floating (as opposed to organized) populist rage, have come to the neighborhood curb. Last year it was AIG executives -- with protestors met by security guard outside. Now it's any executive -- and they're on the front stoop. After Baer's house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive at JPMorgan Chase (JPM,Fortune 500).

Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that's not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have.

When I asked Stephen Lerner, SEIU's point-person on Wall Street reform, about these tactics, he accused me of getting "emotional." Lerner was more comfortable sticking to his talking points: "Millions of people are losing their homes, and they have gone to the banks, which are turning a deaf ear."

Okay, fine, then why not continue SEIU protests at bank offices and shareholder meetings-as the union has been doing for more than a year? Lerner insists, "People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing."

Easton also points out that the protest was not done to elicit media coverage. Only a lefty blogger from Huffpo was present. The real target was BoA employees who SEIU is targeting for organizing. If they can smear Bank of America enough in the press, it might destroy the morale of BoA employees enough that they would be more susceptible to the importunings of SEIU organizers.

Welcome to Barack Obama's America.

H/T: Cliff Thier

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