• Protesters disrupt traffic as they called for higher minimum wage

    Updated:

    BOSTON - Protesters gathered Monday to call for higher minimum wage and better access to social services as they disrupted traffic.

    About 50 protesters sat and stood at a standstill in the Financial District, bringing traffic to a screeching halt. 

    "Marginalized to disenfranchised, the least of these we're tired of those folks not getting the proper resources," Vernon K. Walker, co-chair of the Massachusetts Poor People's Campaign, said.

    The demonstrators with the campaign promised they would be staying put in the intersection of Congress and Franklin, until police put them in handcuffs.

    "Frankly, our rights are under attack," Jarod Hicks, a protester from Dorchester, said.

    One employee at the Post Office Square said the move crippled Monday evening's commute.

    "Where they’re sitting not only blocks the entry to the [Massachusetts Turnpike], but also I-93 South and all of that," Kimberly Edwards said. 

    Drivers in the area were not happy with the move, as they got caught up with no way to get out.

    "We're trying to get somewhere, and I can't," an Uber driver said.

    One employee nearby was calling for change, solely for the traffic to stop.

    "Stop the problem!" Ron Zapletal said. "If they're going to obstruct traffic, get them out of the way."

    Police never did push the protestors out of the street, and when a counter-protester did step in, he was outnumbered. 

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    "50 people are causing thousands to be disrupted back to their children, back to their homes," the counter-protester named Tyler said. "It's just absolutely selfish."

    Organizers call it a mission accomplished.

    "We're still hopeful and encouraged that we disrupted a lot of people's Monday routine," Walker said. 

    On Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Marty Walsh weighed in on the protests the disrupted commuters on Monday evening.

    "It was an orderly dispute, we had people that came in that are passionate about it [fight for 15]," said Mayor Walsh. "They sat down for a little bit in the intersection. They got up and left." 

    however, Boston 25 News confirmed the protesters did not apply nor did they have a permit for their Monday demonstration. We're told anyone hosting an event on public property must apply for a permit. Police have made no arrests.

    "It's not the first time we've had a protest like that in Boston and it certainly won't be the last," Mayor Walsh added. 

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