5 arrested as Boston climate protesters block traffic, organizers say ‘We’re sorry’

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Climate activists protesting fossil fuels blocked commuter traffic in Boston Wednesday morning, leading to several being taken into state police custody.

Organizers notified local media that they were going to take to the streets at 7 a.m. local time, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Just minutes after that time, cops were already making arrests.

“We are monitoring protestors who have announced plans to block traffic this morning. A short time ago we took five of them into custody on the ramp from Leverett Circle to Route 93 in Boston,” Massachusetts State Police tweeted at  7:04 a.m. “We continue to monitor potential protest activity throughout Greater Boston.”

Among the protesters was former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who tweeted from Boston’s Post Office Square.

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Climate protest groups gathered in Boston on Wednesday

Climate protest groups gathered in Boston on Wednesday (GBH News)

“Join us in post office square NOW. Tell the governor and legislature no new fossil fuels!” she said

According to local Boston25 News, the climate change protest was organized by the group Extinction Rebellion Boston. The organization apologized for the inconvenience in a Facebook post that explained why they were demonstrating.

“In regards to today’s disruption: We’re sorry. This is an emergency and we need your attention. We demand that Massachusetts ban new fossil fuel infrastructure,” the group posted  Wednesday morning. The  post included images that included a lengthy statement of their goals.

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Climate protesters sit on the streets of Boston Wednesday morning

Climate protesters sit on the streets of Boston Wednesday morning (GBH News)

“Our demand today is simple: Massachusetts must stop installing new fossil fuel infrastructure,” they said. “New natural gas power plants (e.g. Peabody Peaker), pipelines, and hookups hurt frontline communities. They also cost the taxpayer, as the infrastructure is designed to last many decades, well beyond the mandatory carbon zero timeline of 2050.”

Fox News reached out to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s office for comment, but they did not immediately respond.

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The statement from Extinction Rebellion Boston went on to say that they planned the protest after previously using “petitions, letters to Congress, and other conventional campaigns” to get their message across.

“They haven’t worked. Nonviolent disruptive action is the only tool we have left to force our governments into action to avert the collapse of our biosphere,” they said.

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