Activists protesting police violence against black people chained themselves to 1,200-pound barrels on Thursday and blocked a busy Boston highway during the morning rush. At least 29 people were arrested, and Massachusetts State Police accused the protesters of endangering public safety by forcing ambulances to change routes.
The protesters blocked lanes of Interstate 93 heading into Boston at two points. The aim was to show that white commuters and students “use the city and leave” while people of color “are targeted by police, exploited and displaced,” Katie Seitz, one of the activists, said in a statement released by the organization Black Lives Matter Boston.
Boston firefighters were called to one protest and used chainsaws to cut through the barrels and free the protesters, New England Cable News reported. The protests began about 7:30 a.m. ET and lasted two and a half hours.
“I hear your message. Come in and talk to the mayor about what your grievances are,” Col. Tim Alben, the state police superintendent, told reporters. “But this kind of conduct is risking people’s lives.”
29 Arrested After Protesters Shut Down 2 Parts of I-93 (New England Cable News)