BOSTON – Activists protesting what they call "police and state violence against black people" chained themselves to concrete-filled barrels and blocked a busy Boston area highway in two places at the height of the Thursday morning commute.
State police shut down Interstate 93 north-bound at East Milton Square south of the city, and I-93 south at Mystic Avenue north of the city.
State police later tweeted that two of the four northbound lanes at East Milton Square reopened to traffic and all the southbound lanes were reopened just after 8 a.m.
State police commander Col. Timothy Alben tweeted that 14 people had been removed from the highway north of the city. A total of 23 people had been arrested at the two protest sites.
Police needed power saws to free some people who had chained themselves to barrels.
The Boston contingent of Black Lives Matter said in a statement that the protest was intended "to confront white complacency in the systemic oppression of black people in Boston."
"Today, our nonviolent direct action is meant to expose the reality that Boston is a city where white commuters and students use the city and leave, while black and brown communities are targeted by police, exploited, and displaced," protester Katie Seitz said in a statement.
Failure to indict police blamed for the recent deaths of black men at the hands of white police in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City have led to protests nationwide.
The Boston protesters released a list of more than a dozen minorities they say have been killed by law enforcement in the city in the last 15 years.