Protestors in Boston halted the flow of traffic in and out of the city in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement early Thursday morning (Jan. 15).
A group of protestors joined together to briefly shut down I-93 north and south outside of the city, according to the Boston Globe. The protests were first reported at 7:30 a.m., and police removed protestors and reopened traffic on the southbound by 8:22 a.m.
On I-93 north, however, protestors -- who, in a statement, called themselves "a diverse group of LGBTQA, white, pan-Asian and Latin people acting in solidarity with Black Lives Matter" -- had attached themselves to 1,200 pound concrete barrels. Those lanes did not reopen until almost 10 a.m. 29 people were reportedly arrested.
"Today, we place our bodies in the street for four and a half hours, the same amount of time Mike Brown lay dying in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri," the protestors said in the statement.
"Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Deval Patrick have both condemned the current anti-racist movement and its participants as 'disruptive' to the city of Boston," they continued. "But Boston is a city that stops, on average, 152 black and brown people a day on their ways to work, to their homes, to school and to their families. Is that not 'disruptive'?"
"Boston is the third most policed city per capita in the country. Is it not disruptive for black and brown residents to live under this extensive surveillance, under police intimidation and brutality? How can elected leaders of our city and state support the violent disruption of Black lives, but not the people resisting that very violence? A delay in traffic or on the MBTA is not comparable to the constant state of fear and anxiety created by police in Black and brown communities."
The Massachusetts State Police took to Twitter to blame the protest for the re-routing of an ambulance, and the misallocation of other resources.
Area resident Philip Wood, who owns a construction company and said he had to send workers home without pay, was also not pleased. “This entire situation, which I have no control over and I have no part of, has totally destroyed everybody’s lives,” Wood told the Globe, speaking not about the deaths of unarmed black teens that were being protested, but of the protests themselves.
Not everyone took exception with the act, though.
On what would have been Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 86th birthday, the protestors ended their statement with a quote from the Civil Rights leader: "Why do we do it this way? We do it this way because it is our experience that the nation doesn’t move around questions of genuine equality for the poor and for black people until it is confronted massively, dramatically in terms of direct action."
Those arrested were expected to be arraigned in local court.