Massachusetts State Police Media Release — 01152015 — Protestors Block I-93 Northbound in Milton and I-93 Southbound in Medford brings traffic to stand still during morning commute.
Today at 7:30 the Massachusetts State Police received numerous calls regarding protestors blocking traffic on I-93 Northbound in the area of East Milton Street in Milton. These protestors placed several 55 gallon barrels filled with concrete and other debris across the travel lanes. The protestors 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 protestors 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 protestors delayed emergency crews and equipment from arriving to the scene challenging.
At the Medford scene troopers swiftly and safely physically removed the protestors 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 protestors at the Milton scene proved to be more of a challenge. Several of these protestors 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 protestors 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 protestors 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 protestors to the scene in Milton.
Those arrested in Medford will be arraigned today at Somerville District Court. Those arrested in Milton and Braintree will be arraigned today at the Quincy District Court.
Names of those arrested are being compiled and will be provided in a subsequent release. Please do not call the barracks directly.