(Source) — The group known as the Somerville 18, members of which already face months in jail and thousands of dollars in fines for a direct action campaign in which they blocked traffic on I-93 for hours this past January, are again in the spotlight. It’s all thanks to a bill that’s being heard today on Beacon Hill that aims to designate their actions as attempted murder. The proposal, introduced by Dracut Rep. Colleen Garry and supported by a handful of other lawmakers, moves to amend Mass law to make blocking access “to or upon the public highway or roadway” an act of attempted murder, punishable in the same way as the act of trying to poison, drown, or strangle someone. The language of the measure is simple, and were it not an obvious reaction to a political demonstration, then it may even seem like common sense. But the bill was filed on the same day that the Somerville 18, whose act was done in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, took to the highway in protest of police brutality and systemic racism. The legislation is clearly intended to target civil disobedience, and to give the state the power to imprison dissidents for taking the streets. Considering the chant I’ve heard at every rally I have been to since I moved here six years ago, it’s surprising that some people still don’t understand to whom these streets belong.
BRAVO! BRAVO, Dracut Rep. Colleen Garry! The crazy thing to me here is that the person writing this article doesn’t agree. She admits it could be seen as “common sense” but since it’s in response to a protest then it’s bad? What the fuck does that even mean? Should we wait for a few years to pass before we present this common sense law? Let a few more highways get blocked and more lives put in danger just so it doesn’t seem like it’s a reaction to the “Somerville 18,” because god forbid we offend them? The dumbest shit she said is that it’s surprising politicians still don’t know to whom the streets belong. Nah, Colleen Garry knows who they belong to. We all do. They belong to the ambulances trying to save lives, to the firefighters going to stop someone’s home from burning down, to the police officers who have better shit to do then drag a serial protester in a diaper out of a cement block, and to the normal citizens just trying to get home to see their kids. The streets belong to the masses, not the 18 who live their lives to cause anarchy. And the streets are governed by the politicians who sometimes make great decisions like creating a law that makes it attempted murder to take the streets away from the people who own and rely on them.