Despite the awful weather, around one hundred students took to the streets of downtown Boston to demonstrate their anger and frustration with law enforcement harassment and abuse.
Students from three local high schools walked out of the class today. I stumbled upon this Facebook event last night when looking to see if there were any planned actions upcoming. None of the usual activists attended.
The students marched up to the State House where the state troopers had already set up several police cars on the sidewalk in front of the locked gates. Despite being right outside the FOX 25 Beacon Hill studio, no one there seemed interested in stepping outside to cover the protest. A Boston Herald photographer did eventually start photographing the students. She told that she was on her way somewhere else and had no idea this event was going on.
There were about a half dozen troopers blocking the students from approaching the State House fence but nothing close to the police presence of a few days ago.
After the State House the students marched, blocking traffic down towards the Commons, heading to Newbury Street. The police kept their distance, for the most part, while blocking of streets in advance where they could.
For the most part the response from onlookers was either supportive or silence. Countless cars honked their support. At least twice during the march, adults (whom you would think would behave better) yelled "Get a Job!" to the students. Honestly the students showed more restraint than I would have.
On Boylston, near the Boston Public Library, the protesters staged a die-in for about three minutes while blocking traffic in the intersection. The pace of the march was faster than a lot of the other ones I'd photographed recently possibly because of the weather.
After the die-in, the march continued around Copley and back the way we came, towards the State House.
There was a brief bit of anger at police officer who backed up his cruiser, coming close to a group of students. Students surrounded the car while a few yelled at the officer inside. Pretty quickly, a few of the organizers got the crowd of protesters to move on.
After the brief delay at the police car, the march was back on to the State House.
The protest finished up at the State House. The state troopers that were standing guard earlier were gone and the students took the opportunity for a photo-op on the steps.
I'm glad I was there. It's important to have someone watching, documenting these protests just in case something happens and the police overreact.