15 climate activists arrested in Boston after protests disrupt morning commute

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People protesting the climate crisis have been arrested in Boston after they blocked traffic during Wednesday’s morning commute.

Five people were arrested for blocking an entrance to Interstate 93, Massachusetts State Police posted on Twitter, a major traffic route through the heart of the city. State police confirmed the five arrests, and that they seized barrels that could have been used by protestors to form a roadblock, in a statement emailed to The Independent.

The Boston Police Department also said that officers were responding to protests in the city and that traffic at Seaport Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue was being diverted.

In a statement late Wednesday, the Boston police told The Independent that they had arrested 10 people, bringing the total number of arrests to 15.

The group behind the protests, Extinction Rebellion Boston (XR Boston), put out a graphic on Facebook that read: “We’re Sorry.”

“We understand that we have interrupted your life today, and we know that your life is important,” the post continued. “That is why we are fighting to protect it, and all lives, before we run out of time.”

Photos and videos posted to XR Boston’s Twitter account show protestors marching through the streets with a brass band, and blocking traffic near downtown.

“Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go,” protesters chanted.

The Independent has reached out to Extinction Rebellion Boston for comment.

The climate activist group’s Facebook post also called on Massachusetts to stop building new fossil fuel infrastructure, and said that “conventional” methods of advocacy like writing letters to Congress and petitions have failed.

Climate protestors with Extinction Rebellion block a road in Boston on Wednesday morning (AFP via Getty Images)
Climate protestors with Extinction Rebellion block a road in Boston on Wednesday morning (AFP via Getty Images)

“Nonviolent disruptive action is the only tool we have left to force our governments into action,” the post read.

In a statement obtained byBoston.com, XR Boston said that the locations of the traffic disruptions were chosen to “clog the Central Artery of Boston to prevent employees from getting into the financial district and Seaport”.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation put out a notice on Twitter Tuesday night that protests could disrupt traffic during the morning commute.

Climate activists march in downtown Boston on Wednesday morning (EPA)
Climate activists march in downtown Boston on Wednesday morning (EPA)

The Boston Globe reported that at one point, the protestors sang a climate-themed parody of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, a Civil War-era American song.

The action is part of a “week of rebellion” organized by XR Boston, with events and protests scheduled throughout the week.

Many other climate groups are holding marches, meetings and protests around the world this week as the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York.

This article has been updated to reflect the number of arrests