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Protesters Block I 93; bring traffic to stand still during morning commute

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Several of these protesters chained themselves together by placing their arms in and through the 55 gallon barrels.

Today at 7:30 the Massachusetts State Police received numerous calls regarding protesters blocking traffic on I-93 Northbound in the area of East Milton Street in Milton. These protesters placed several 55 gallon barrels filled with concrete and other debris across the travel lanes. The protesters then formed a human chain across the roadway attaching themselves to each other by passing their arms through an interlocking device and chaining themselves to the inside of the barrels. Traffic was stopped on I 93 Northbound at the site of the protest.

Approximately five minutes later, the State Police received reports of a similar protest occurring on I 93 Southbound in Medford/Somerville in the area of the Mystic Valley Parkway. At this location protesters attached themselves to each other by passing their arms through an interlocking device crossed the travel lanes and brought traffic to a stop at that location.

Dozens of troopers, including members of the Special Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T), responded to both scenes along with many members of local law enforcement, local fire departments, emergency medical services, and Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The traffic back up caused by the actions of the protesters delayed emergency crews and equipment from arriving to the scene challenging.

At the Medford scene troopers swiftly and safely physically removed the protesters from the roadway. At 8:22 a.m. the travel lanes of I 93 southbound were opened for travel. A total of 18 persons were arrested at this location and transported to the State Police Barracks in Medford for booking.

Removal of the protesters at the Milton scene proved to be more of a challenge. Several of these protesters chained themselves together by placing their arms in and through the 55 gallon barrels. The Milton Fire Department brought special cutting tools to aid in the effort and along with the specially trained members of the S.E.R.T. safely separated the protesters from the barrels. Throughout the removal process traffic on I 93 Northbound to include the High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (H.O.V.) was stopped. This created an extensive traffic back up during the morning commute. A total of nine protesters were arrested at the scene in Milton and taken to the State Police Barracks in South Boston for booking. The travel lanes of I-93 Northbound re-opened completely at 9:45 a.m.

As a result of the ongoing investigation, two addition persons were arrested in Braintree as they attempted to return a rental truck that was used to transport the barrels and the protesters to the scene in Milton.

ARRAIGNMENT RESULTS, Jan. 15, 2015, Quincy District Court. Hon. Mark Coven presiding.

Seven men and Four women arrested – some while chained to barrels full of concrete – for obstructing Rte. 93 North this morning, thereby blocking access to all area Level 1 Trauma Centers for the entire South Shore and blocking the commute for thousands, have pled not guilty to charges stemming from the event.

Nicole Sullivan, 24, of Jacques Street in Somerville, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Resisting Arrest, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

Nelli Routsalainen, 25, of  Lambert Ave in Roxbury, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

James Billman, 25, of  Colbourne Crescent in Brookline, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

Brett W. West, 26, of Warren St., Boston, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

Jeremy Bingham, 23, of Shawnee Rd in Arlington, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

Mark F. Schwaller, 29, of Bynner St. in Jamaica Plain, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

Noah McKenna, 28, of Parley Vale in Boston, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct ,Throwing an Object on a Public Way and Resisting Arrest.

Angela N. Davis, 43, of Summer St., Somerville, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct, resisting arrest and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

Eli Cohen, 26, of Simpson Ave, Somerville, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct, resisting arrest and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

Emily Osmun, 34, of Medford St., Somerville, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct ,Throwing an Object on a Public Way and Resisting Arrest.

William Connolly, 26, of Jean St., Hanson, pled not guilty to Trespassing, Throwing Glass on a Public Way, Willfully Obstructing an Emergency Vehicle, Conspiracy, Disorderly Conduct and Throwing an Object on a Public Way.

“We know of at least one elderly crash victim who could not be transported to the Level 1 Trauma Center his injury demanded because this road was illegally blockaded,” District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said. “The disregard for the safety and welfare of innocent citizens that this action manifests is shocking.”

All were released on personal recognizance and ordered to return to Quincy District Court on April 9 for pre-trial conference.


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2 comments

  1. Unbelievable these people show no regard for people who have to commute to work every day. And what if that crash victim would have died how would you have felt about your protest then complete idiots.

  2. These people clearly felt very strongly about something, but no mention of *what* they were protesting?
    Yes, it would have been a complete disaster if someone had died. But no one did.
    Don’t forget, dissent is a foundational tenet of our country.

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