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Protesters Shut Down Boston Highway by Handcuffing Themselves To Cement-Filled Barrels

A group of protesters found a creative way to "disrupt business as usual" on Thursday morning: handcuffing themselves to heavy cement-filled barrels and paralyzing traffic into Boston, during the morning rush hour.
Image via YouTube

A group of protesters who said they were demonstrating against police racism found a creative way to "disrupt business as usual" on Thursday morning — by handcuffing themselves to heavy cement-filled barrels and paralyzing traffic on two parts of Interstate 93, outside Boston, during this morning's rush hour.

Some of the protesters even cemented themselves to the barrels, and had to be freed with saws.


State police shut down the I-93 northbound at East Milton Square, south of the city, and I-93 south at Mystic Avenue north of the city, the Boston Globe reported. A total of 23 people were arrested, police said.

Local members of Black Lives Matter — a nationwide group born on the heels of this summer's protests in Ferguson, Missouri — said that the demonstration was staged "to confront white complacency in the systemic oppression of black people in Boston."

"Today, our nonviolent direct action is meant to expose the reality that Boston is a city where white commuters and students use the city and leave, while black and brown communities are targeted by police, exploited, and displaced," Katie Seitz, one of the protesters, said in a statement.

The videos below show protesters on the expressway in Milton, and police attempting to free demonstrators' arms from the cement barrels using a saw.

Video by Julio Ricardo Varela,

State Police confirm that 6 protesters were cemented to barrels in — Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77)January 15, 2015

Removal of protestors still ongoing. Please be patient. — Quincy Police (@quincymapolice)January 15, 2015

This was the scene on — Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77)January 15, 2015

The scene on 93 north — Scott Eisen (@scotteisenphoto)January 15, 2015

Dustin Flitch, a Massachusetts state trooper, tweeted traffic updates to commuters, warning them to "call work, ur gonna be late."


Flitch also tweeted: "We talked about this folks, no disrupting traffic" — a comment which was promptly ridiculed on social media. For months now, protesters across the country have pledged to "shut things down" and disrupt "business as usual" in an attempt to demand greater police accountability.

Thought we talked about this folks, no disrupting traffic. — Dustin Fitch (@DustinGFitch)January 15, 2015

And where do you find 1200 pound barrels to bring on highway? Avoid the area if u are a commuter. — Dustin Fitch (@DustinGFitch)January 15, 2015

Call work, ur gonna be late.If you can seek another — Dustin Fitch (@DustinGFitch)January 15, 2015

From Atlanta to Los Angeles, protesters have regularly shut down traffic on major roads in the wake of the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot dead unarmed teenager Michael Brown, and the subsequent non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo, the New York cop involved in the death of Eric Garner.