fb-pixelFourteen climate protesters arrested after occupying Healey’s office lobby - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

Fourteen climate protesters arrested after occupying Healey’s office lobby

State Troopers assigned to Governor Maura Healey's office stood in the entrance of her office, where climate protesters occupied the lobby on Thursday.Samantha J. Gross/Globe Photo

About 14 climate change protesters from a Boston climate action group were arrested Thursday after occupying the lobby of Governor Maura Healey’s office well after the State House closed.

The protesters, who were part of the local chapter of activist group Extinction Rebellion, occupied the office for several hours before the building officially closed at 5 p.m.

They were arrested on trespassing charges.

A similar protest in 2019 in the office lobby of then-Gov. Charlie Baker ended in 27 arrests.

Healey was not in the office at the time. She is in Washington, DC this week for National Governors Association Meetings.

Advertisement



The group first entered the building at 2:30 p.m. as part of a State House tour, they said.

“People are willing to be arrested for their beliefs,” said Susan Lemont, a spokesperson for the group.

The activists said they are advocating for the Healey administration to halt proposed projects in several Massachusetts communities: a fossil fuel plant in Peabody, a pipeline in Springfield pipeline, and an Eversource project in Springfield and Longmeadow. They also object to the approval of a natural gas facility in Charlton.

“We’re trying to change the conversation, so we can change our politics,” said Paul Shannon, a Somerville resident who sat on the carpeted lobby floor.

Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer pulled a cushion off one of the couches in the lobby area and sat on the ground, listening to activists voice their concerns.

Hoffer declined to speak to reporters about what she discussed.

“You’ll have to ask them,” she said, as she slipped into a nearby elevator.

In a statement, Healey’s office said the governor’s administration “is committed to urgently transitioning to clean energy and away from costly, polluting fossil fuels.”

“As we make this transition, we will center environmental justice communities that have been disproportionately burdened by the impacts of fossil fuels,” spokesperson, Karissa Hand, said in the statement.

Advertisement



Extinction Rebellion has also organized other recent climate protests.

Protesters from Extinction Rebellion were arrested last week while protesting the construction of a controversial electrical substation in East Boston.

Last September, 15 protesters were arrested for blocking lanes of traffic in Boston during rush hour.


Samantha J. Gross can be reached at samantha.gross@globe.com. Follow her @samanthajgross.