Rush-hour traffic this morning in Boston was disrupted by a group of protestors who inserted their arms into cement barrels, blocking traffic for nearly two hours in both directions on Interstate 93. The protesters were protesting "police and state violence against black people" and wanted to "disrupt business as usual." Twenty three people were arrested.
However, according to Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben, the protests did more than ruin a morning commute for thousands: they endangered people's lives, specifically the lives belonging to victims of a car accident in Easton, MA. The ambulance that was transporting someone with life-threatening injuries from the crash was unable to travel to a hospital with a level 1 trauma center and was forced to divert to a lesser-equipped hospital. Four other ambulances from a nearby town were dispatched to cut people out of the cement barrels on the highway.
Alben did not mince words when it came to his feelings about the protesters, calling them "immature and irresponsible."
That is what I am talking about when we talk about unintended consequences. People's rights are people's rights, but you are endangering people's lives with this conduct.
And I would say to you that this is not only immature and irresponsible, but the conduct is reckless. It is endangering people's lives.
Look. It's perfectly fine to be upset or angry with the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and dozens of others. It is not, however, fine to block a major-freaking-highway to protest their deaths. That is terrifying, and they're insanely lucky nobody was killed as a result of their actions.