27 arrested after hundreds of climate change activists march through Boston, occupy Beacon Hill

BOSTON (WHDH) - Twenty-seven people are facing trespassing charges after refusing to leave the State House until lawmakers take action against climate change. Now they are saying their actions were worth the repercussions.

Hundreds of climate change activists skipped school and work to show their support for the Green New Deal — a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2035.

“We frankly thought that we did not have a choice, “protestor Brian Stilwell said “We feel backed up against the wall as a generation and so, we said that we would not leave until Governor Baker — who we believed was in the building today — would come out and commit to signing the Green New Deal pledge.”

The Green New Deal vows to provide a guaranteed living-wage job for anyone who needs one, in addition to a just transition for both workers and frontline communities.

“I don’t want to be getting arrested. I don’t want to have to take off school and come down to the State House to be listened to,” protester Owen Woodcock said.

Earlier in the day, the activists marched from Copley to Beacon Hill.

Democratic Sen. Ed Markey addressed the activists at a rally prior to the march.

“The young people are an army of activists arriving to lead this movement,” he told 7NEWS. “It’s absolutely critical that they continue to give leadership. They are making a difference. They’re injecting this issue into the politics of America for the 2020 elections cycle.”

Throughout the day, protestors from Sunrise Movement Boston and Youth Climate Strike marched through the State House under the watchful eye of state police.

Later in the afternoon, troopers informed the protestors that it was time to go. They then cleared media out of the building before the arrests were made.

Many people left of their own accord. As for the 27 who refused, they say they did so to show Gov. Baker they want him to do more to tackle climate change.

“We are here asking today for Gov. Baker and Speaker DeLeo to use their power to take swift and direct action,” one woman said.

After paying their bail, all those who were arrested were released from custody hours after being led out of the State House in handcuffs.

“There is going to be untold suffering from climate change. Being willing to sacrifice and put yourself on the line in a peaceful way, to fight for what you believe in, to fight for others in Massachusetts is incredibly important,” one protestor said.

They are all due to be arraigned on Tuesday.

 

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