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Dozens protest GE event downtown

Demonstrators participated in a protest against General Electric's move to the city of Boston on Monday. Keith Bedford/Globe Staff

Despite heavy snow, several dozen protesters marched Monday afternoon outside the downtown tower where GE executives were set to meet with Boston’s business and civic leaders.

The demonstrators — ranging from advocates for housing and transit to Boston Public Schools supporters to environmentalists — voiced their objections to the $120 million in state grants and $25 million in city property tax relief that have been pledged to the company in return for its decision to relocate to Boston.

“I think it’s outrageous that we would give millions of dollars of tax cuts to an extremely abusive transnational corporation while our MBTA, our schools and our public services are vastly underfunded,” said Ari Rubenstein, a Boston resident at the protest on behalf of Boston-based Corporate Accountability International.


The group urged GE to do more in the community, and city and state leaders to force them to do so.

The $50 million in corporate donations GE announced Monday didn’t satisfy Eli Gerzon of the Jewish Voice for Peace, which helped organize the rally.

“Philanthropy is not a substitute for fulfilling your civic duties, for paying your fair share in taxes,” who noted that GE often works it’s tax bill down to zero. “I pay more than they do. That’s not right.”

Despite heavy snow on State Street, building security kept ordering protestors out from under the overhang in front of the tower’s front door, while police and GE handlers watched from inside the building’s lobby.

Tim Logan can be reached at timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bytimlogan.

Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.