Police Struggle to Keep Peaceful Protesters Off of Boston’s Highways

Update 11:10 p.m.: The crowd has broken up into smaller groups, and police are working to block multiple highway ramps to both I-93 and the Mass Pike. Ramps near Copley Square, Dewey Square, the Greenway, Chinatown, the Seaport, and the North End were blocked late into the night.

Police responded to a call about a woman passed out in Dewey Square, and officers also arrested about 10 people in that area as the crowd tried to gain access to the highway ramp. Three police wagons were called to the scene to collect the prisoners.

Boston Police officers and State Police troopers were on hand to block the highways. Radio dispatchers coordinated police movements from hot spot to hot spot. While there have been reports of a few arrests throughout the night, the protesters have remained peaceful.


Boston’s experience has been shared by cities across the country, and highways have been a favorite target of demonstrators throughout the night.

UPDATE, 10 p.m.: Protesters have moved back down Mass. Ave, away from the connector. While protesters were unable to get on I-93, they have had a definite impact on traffic in Boston.

Along the way, Boston Police have been stepping in stride with the protesters, though there have been no reported outbursts of violence. State Police were also on hand as the crowd moved down Mass. Ave. toward the South End and Back Bay.

Most of the crowd then turned onto Boylston Street. Police blocked access to the Mass. Pike ramps near Newbury Street and Clarendon Street.

UPDATE: 9:15 p.m.: More than a thousand people blocked access to the Mass. Ave. Connector Tuesday night, as a protest that started in Dudley Square went mobile, walking past the South Bay Correctional Facility along the way.

Boston Police formed a line along the ramps leading to I-93, precventing protesters from blocking traffic on the massive highway below the connector. Protesters across the country successfully managed to stop highway traffic during demonstrations on Monday night.

In Providence tonight, protesters were able to block off I-95, snarling traffic in Rhode Island’s capital, according to WBZ’s Jay Borselle.


’’No justice, no peace, no racist police,’’ and other chanted were heard coming from the crowd during the night. Prisoners inside the jail came to the windows to show their support.

Original post: After a grand jury did not indict officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Monday night, protests around the country have taken shape.

A protest in Boston is taking place tonight, hosted by Black Lives Matter Boston. The protest was announced via a Facebook event.

The protest began at the Boston Police Station in Dudley Square at 7 pm.

According to Black Lives Matter:

“To America, Darren Wilson is Innocent. INDICT AMERICA. Darren Wilson was delivered no indictment. We know that killer cops are viewed as law abiding citizens. Darren Wilson says he was just doing his job. He’s right. Richard Haste, Ramarley Graham’s murderer, claims he did nothing wrong. He’s right. Cops who murder Black and brown people in the name of America’s capitalist white supremacy aren’t just innocent; they’re commended for a job well done. INDICT AMERICA. People in 10 cities in the US are currently planning to turn up in their own cities when the verdict is announced. JOIN US!’’

Mayor Marty Walsh and a group of clergymen, elected officials, and other community leaders planned to hold a forum Tuesday night on the impact of the Ferguson decision.

“We echo the sentiment of community leaders, elected officials, and clergy nationwide, calling for unity and peaceful demonstrations, and encouraging all to work together to create real, lasting change,’’ they said in a statement.

On Monday night, Boston College students marched across campus, eventually protesting in front of the BC Police Department Headquarters.

According to BC Heights, some students wore “Black Lives Matter’’ t-shirts, carrying sings and chanting.

Monday night protests in Boston also took place at City Hall Plaza and the State House.

Ty Allen, 20, (center) and his girlfriend Shaquana Peebles, 22 (right), joined protestors gathered at the State House following the Ferguson grand jury decision. —ARAM BOGHOSIAN/ THE BOSTON GLOBE

According to The Boston Globe, Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement that “we welcome these expressions, done respectfully, responsibly, and peacefully.’’

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