It’s not often that the New York Times has a prophetic vision. In 2021, the paper ran a fawning profile of Calla Walsh, a high-schooler leading an “army of sixteen-year-olds” against Massachusetts’s Democratic establishment. Now all grown up, Walsh has become a general to a fierce group of agitators.
Walsh, now a committed communist, was arrested on Monday morning at a defense contractor facility in New Hampshire along with two other women. The three were arraigned on Tuesday on charges of riot, sabotage, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
The women, along with a larger group of pro-Palestine protesters, had surrounded the Elbit Systems facility, which is allegedly involved in Israel’s military campaign. Police said protesters badly damaged the building, including smashed windows and spray paint that read “free Gaza” and “genocide profiteers.” Police noticed smoke coming from the roof, where they found the three women with an incendiary device and smashed skylights and HVAC equipment.
Of course, the NYT never meant to portray Walsh and her army negatively. They were just a perky team of teens who could “do anything online,” including a shake-up of Massachusetts politics. The article described Walsh as an “influential new force in democratic politics” whose online presence helped incumbent Senator Edward J. Markey fend off a primary challenge from Joseph Kennedy III. Still, the Times insisted Walsh was a relatable teen, babysitting her little brother and flunking her calc tests.
But Cockburn isn’t surprised to see what Walsh grew into. Beneath the high-schooler running Taylor Swift fan accounts, was an emerging mob boss. The article describes how Walsh kept detailed spreadsheets of every Democratic candidate she thought was too far right, ready at a moment’s notice to drag them through the Twittersphere. Walsh was also infamously disloyal. In 2021, when Senator Markey blamed both Israel and Palestine for rising tensions in the region, Walsh dropped him with ease along with a thinly veiled warning. “It was never about him as an individual. We have moved beyond this being about one candidate. He owes us much of his victory, so we do have leverage over him,” she told the NYT.
Since her profile in the Gray Lady, Walsh has become even more extreme. She calls police “pigs” on social media and her fellow protesters “comrades.” She currently works with the National Network on Cuba, which aims to end the US blockade on Cuba, and serves as a contributor for People’s World, a Marxist-Leninist publication.
This isn’t the first run-in with the law Walsh has had either. A few weeks ago, she was one of nine protesters arrested at the same facility. Activists pelted the building with smoke pellets and eggs before turning on the police. Walsh was issued a $20,000 cash bail when arraigned Monday due to her previous arrest.