Two from Central Massachusetts Arrested at Governor's Home

 by TWIW StaffSeptember 28, 2021

Massachusetts State Police arrested eight individuals in Swampscott on Tuesday, September 28, while blocking a public roadway and chaining themselves to a large, pink boat with the words “climate emergency” painted on it which they brought to the front of Governor Charlie Baker’s home.

After refusing to unchain themselves from the boat, Troopers trained in civil disturbance response cut the devices holding the protestors to the boat.

State Police arrested the eight demonstrators, who face charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing. They are:

  • Alexander Chambers, 23, of Boylston
  • Gerard Frank, 67, of Dudley
  • James Comisky, 31, of Somerville
  • Gregory Mangan, 69, of Somerville
  • Nora Maynard, 38, of Turners Falls
  • Allen McGonagill, 32, of Somerville
  • Dylan Sessler, 27, of Hampstead N.H.
  • Jennifer Smith, 47, of Watertown

Extinction Rebellion Boston, a local group within Extinction Rebellion, tweeted the event throughout the day.

Extinction Rebellion [XR] describes itself as "a decentralised, international and politically non-partisan movement using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency." It says it has 1,194 local groups in 84 countries.

A press release by Extinction Rebellion Massachusetts detailed why the group chose to target Baker and its demands within Massachusetts.

Eversource Substation in East Boston

The group says that Baker’s administration approved Eversource’s electrical substation to be built in an area at risk of flooding and near a playground in East Boston.

The group cites acting Mayor of Boston Kim Janey’s statement in May, which called for “Eversource to justify or cancel” the substation and that it is “based on flawed projections and flawed priorities.”

XR Massachusetts also says the public hearing on the substation “failed to provide adequate translation for the Spanish-speaking community.” Janey’s statement says that “ 64 percent of community members are people of color and 54 percent of the community are immigrants.”

XR Massachusetts demands the East Boston Substation is moved to Logan Airport to protect local residents.

Forced Development of Indigenous Lands

The group says that “land is often taken from Indigenous communities across the state without consent of Indigenous people who live and rely on it.” The group cites a 2016 report that says 75% of the world’s remaining biodiversity remains in Indigenous territories,” and calls forced development of Indigenous lands “an egregious example of environmental racism.”

The group demands that Baker “sign the full Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda into law and commit to statewide reparations for Black residents.”

Enbridge Natural Gas Compressor Station in Weymouth

The group cites the natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, originally proposed in 2015 and opposed by local residents.

Since the processor launched operations in the fall of 2020, it has had four unplanned leaks of natural gas; September 11, 2000, September 30, 2000, April 6 and May 20. The latter released over 11,000 cubic feet of pressurized gas. The company vented another 11,397 cubic feet of gas in a controlled released on May 26.

The group demands the shut down of Weymouth facility.

New Natural Gas Plant in Peabody

The group says a new natural gas plant being constructed in Peabody continues without an environmental impact study and health assessment.

The group demands an environmental impact report and a Community Health Impact Assessment.

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