As part of a nationwide effort opposing construction of the fracked-oil Dakota Access Pipeline, two Worcester residents (Jen Burt and Kyle Schulz) this morning locked themselves to the front door of the downtown Worcester branch of TD Bank, a sister company of TD Securities, one of the financial institutions financing the pipeline. Once their locks had been cut, they were arrested.
Update: They have been charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct. A December court date has been set.
I think this is the first civil disobedience in the city since the January 2015 Black Lives Matter protest in Kelley Square. That protest involved four protesters being charged (two months after the five-minute protest) with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. After a brief trial, three of them were “adjudicated responsible” and fined $100 each, and the fourth found “not responsible.”
(I should note that anti-fracking and indigenous rights not causes I’ve been involved with or know much about, but you won’t be surprised I’m generally sympathetic to them, and moreover these two are my friends and I wish them the best of luck.)