Climate Rebels Block Commutes in the Name of Justice
“We’re not going to fix this politically. We need to literally get out in the street and have our bicycle blocking cars.”
Easy for him to say, that is, the retiree who spends his free time demonstrating with his fellow Bernie Bros at Extinction Rebellion—“XR” in climate-justice lingo. Ask the commuters who were struggling to get on the Leverett Circle Connector this morning.
Fortunately for those with jobs, the activists didn’t fully succeed in their plan. A “media leak” (or, more likely, the website’s very public Week of Rebellion itinerary) led to the originally planned locales’ being “saturated by police,” says a young protestor who joined the movement about six months ago. He seemed pretty bummed out to be roaming Post Office Square freely at ten in the morning instead of hanging out in a holding cell.
“This being civil disobedience, we anticipated being arrested. I kind of signed up for that in my role today. But there were so many police there that they threatened to arrest us the moment we began bringing our props onto the street.”
Props? What do you mean, props?
“I probably can’t share what was going to be involved in this one because it never actually came out and I don’t want to ruin any of the details.”
If we’re lucky enough to be blessed with another Summer Street bridge blockade, maybe we’ll get to see XR’s entire show. But he was probably referring to the 55-pound steel drum “sleeping dragons” Massachusetts state troopers pulled from the vehicles obstructing the ramp to Route 93. Imagine what hitting a 55-pound metal barrel could do to a car—or a driver.
Boston Police reported 15 arrests in connection with this morning’s criminal disruptions. If the steel drums hadn’t been seized, Extinction Rebellion likely would have seen more of their members in handcuffs.
In the XR cult, however, your first arrest in the name of climate justice is a right of passage. “I mean, there’s really an emotional part of being arrested,” says our retiree. “I ended up going out to the Treaty People Gathering in Minnesota, and that was the first time I got arrested.” Since then, he’s seen the inside of a cell five times. After that many arrests, he’s used to the routine.
“It’s not fun, having handcuffs behind your back. It’s uncomfortable, and they let you sit there being handcuffed much longer than they need to, and you know, they’ve built up this little game that they play, and the intention is to make us feel like, ‘Oh, I can’t get arrested.’”
As the XR site declares, “Climate justice means justice for all.” So protestors like this guy use every arrest as a reflection session for other woke issues: prison reform, race relations, affordable housing.
“When I get arrested…I’m going to get bailed out. As a white person there’s not a whole lot they can do. It’s an annoying system to me, but it’s a debilitating system to poor people. I’m not going to suffer like a poor black person who has to get money to pay the rent and all the rest of other kinds of vicious circles we get exploited into. So even if they get arrested, even for a short period of time, they’re just sucked into this vortex of going down the drain.”
Time in prison really is a privilege, if you put it that way.
Today’s handcuff-wannabes were out at the crack of dawn to demand an end to the fossil fuel industry. The seasoned rebel explained that the group’s mission is to raise awareness about projects in Peabody and near Logan Airport that will be powered by oil and gas. He has a far greater, more expensive, and nation-altering vision beyond ending these local ventures, however.
“I have a Prius,” he (rather predictably) shared. “But I’m pretty close to just not having a car anymore. I would like to see more roads that are car-free. One of the things with COVID is the government showed us what they can do. Look how much money they spent…that’s what we’re capable of doing if we decide we want to act. But the government doesn’t want to act.”
I was under the impression that the Inflation Reduction Act was going to “combat the climate crisis.” That’s what the White House told us, right? And at $437B, it’s certainly a significant investment of taxpayer dollars. But even with his head in the clouds, our friend sees right through the Democrat corruption behind the bill.
“Would we be better off without it? It’s really hard to say,” he said. “But I think that it’s not the fix that we need. It isn’t clear to me that there’s a second step that’s going to follow this.”
At last, the protestor displayed some logic. But it didn’t last long.
“So, standing up in the streets is the only choice we have. Get out there, kids!”