VIDEO: Prof arrested while taking part in climate protest

Police arrested a Boston University professor participating in a protest against a plan to construct a natural gas compressor.

Law enforcement reportedly asked the professor to stop blocking an entrance to a state environment office. When the professor refused, he was arrested and charged with trespassing. The charge was later dropped.

Police arrested Wednesday a Boston University professor protesting the construction of a local natural gas compression facility.

BU earth and environment professor Nathan Phillips was charged with trespassing for refusing to move after police asked him to stop blocking an escalator into the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The charge was dropped later the same day, according to BU student newspaper The Daily Free Press.

Phillips was participating in a protest against the construction of a new natural gas compressor station as an ally of a local activist group called “Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station” (FRRACS).  

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FRRACS says it is concerned that the construction of a new “fracked-gas compressor station” would cause problems for residents in the area like loud noise, a decrease in property value, and toxic pollutant exposure.

FRRACS claims that the compressor “has no business being in this location - or any location” and seeks to empower individuals from the area to “put a stop to” the “foolish idea” of constructing the energy solution.

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Phillips and members of FRRACS were blocking an escalator while waving signs. Phillips stood on the escalator with a sign that read, “Time to Escalate.” 

FRRACS member Laura Ashley told The Daily Free Press that Boston Police told the professor that he would be arrested if he did not move out of the way of the escalator. 

”So he sat there peacefully and then the police escorted him out,” she said.

In an interview with Campus Reform on Friday, Phillips said of his interactions with police, “they were doing their job. And they have a job to do. And I was breaking the law. They asked me to comply with them, and I declined. I told them very clearly that ‘I’m choosing to remain here, and I’m not going to move until you tell me that I’m going to be arrested, but then I won’t resist arrest.’”

Campus Reform reached out to BU and FRRACS, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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