WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Eight activists from several New England colleges were arrested by police Monday after staging a sit-in at Westborough's TransCanada headquarters.
Members of the group reportedly secured themselves with chains, locks and superglue in the Westborough office as part of a nationwide protest. The protesters described themselves as "representatives of a desperate generation who have been forced [into civil disobedience] by the reckless and immoral behavior of fossil fuel corporations such as TransCanada."
The power supplier, located at 110 Turnpike Road, recently agreed to a contract with the town of Westborough to power all municipal buildings at a discounted rate.
The activists were protesting a pipeline, from Canada to Nebraska, that they said would "lock us into climate disaster," according to a news release.
The pipeline, announced in 2008, is intended to carry tar sands oil from Northern Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.
Westborough police spoke to the protesters shortly after their 2 p.m. arrival, advising them to leave or saying they would be arrested on trespassing charges, police said. They refused, remaining in place for about three hours while authorities worked to get them out.
The activists did not have keys for their chains, according to the group's spokesman, Jacklyn Gil.
"We were able to get their ankles undone, and the fire department was able to get their superglue undone," said Westborough Police Chief Alan Gordon, noting that a locksmith was called.
Seven of the protesters were arrested, still chained at the waist, while one was removed. A key was taken to the Westborough Police station after 6 p.m. Monday to remove the padlocks, officers said.
The following people were arrested and charged with disturbing the peace, trespassing and being a disorderly person:
- Shea M. Riester, 22. of 48 Brooksdale Road, Brighton;
- Devyn Weis Powell, 20, of 1260 Hideaway Lane, Lake Oswego, Ore.;
- Benjamin L. Thompson, 22, of 20 Watson Road, Durham, N.H.;
- Benjamin J. Trolio, 22, of 35 Fruitwood Drive, Burnt Hills, N.Y.;
- Lisa Rose Purdy, 20, of 26 Fisk St., Waltham;
- Allison J. Welton, 20, of 648 Highway 7, Tonasket, Wash.;
- Dorian S. Williams, 20, of 5301 S. University Ave., Chicago, Ill.; and
- Emily Edgerly, 20, of 6 Douglas Road, Lexington.
They will be arraigned Tuesday morning at Westborough District Court.