Protesters interrupt Patrick speech at celebration
A small group of protesters demonstrating against recent killings of unarmed black men by police briefly interrupted a speech by Governor Deval Patrick at a celebration of his two terms in office at the State House on Sunday.
About 10 protesters made it into the building, according to Kenyatta Blue, 30, of Dorchester, who said he was among them. One protester shouted at Patrick, “Your brothers are out here dying in the street!” according to Blue.
Patrick addressed the protesters for a moment before resuming his speech, Blue said.
“Nothing is being done; they’re sitting here celebrating, acting like everything is normal right now and the protesters just spoke their mind,” Blue said.
State House employees quickly escorted the group outside, and a lockdown of the building was later announced, police said.
About 20 more young protesters were outside the building chanting, “The whole damn system is guilty as hell” and “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! These racist cops have got to go.” Pamphlets were handed out listing national demands, which included “the demilitarization of local law enforcement” and a review into “systematic abuses by police departments.”
None of the protesters identified themselves as being with a specific organization.
Ivan Richiez, 22, of Jamaica Plain, said the protesters had hoped to get their entire group into the building. Richiez said he did not enter the State House.
“It would have been nice to be there and see how open they were,” Richiez said. “I would’ve liked to be there to see at least a facial expression.”
Sadie Barboza, 25, of Boston, did make it inside the State House. She said going to events like Sunday’s was the next step for young protesters.
“The protests shouldn’t stop, the die-ins shouldn’t stop, but we should be sitting at these tables with these officials,” Barboza said.