By Brock Bowen
Members of the Worcester community gathered on Tuesday, January 19, in front of Worcester City Hall to protest charges being filed against four people who were blocking traffic during a Black Lives Matter event.
Presenters at the City Hall’s event included poetry readers and various speakers. Among the leaders included Robert Blackwell Gibbs, a member of Socialist Alternative, Gordon Davis from Progressive Labor, and Mike Jerry, a spokesman for the rally.
The event that caused the summons for the four individuals took place on January 19, 2015, when the protesters formed a void in Kelly Square to prevent traffic from passing. The four protestors of the summons emphasized that during the Kelly Square event, they paused the protest to allow an ambulance to pass.
The protesters were heavy on symbolism and humanitarianism. They had decided on January 19, the reason being Martin Luther King Jr. day.
According to one of the protestors, Chris Marble, “the reason that we did four and a half minutes was for the four hours that he was in the road.”
Marble was referring to the four and a half hours that Michael Brown had lain in the streets after being shot by police officer Darren Wilson.
Down at City Hall, activists wearing orange jumpsuits were handing out flyers written by Gordon T. Davis, titled, “WORCESTER CITY COUNCIL AND RULE 33.” The first sentence of the page expressed that Rule 33 is Worcester City Council’s own “Wizard of Oz,” for its use of “smoke and mirrors.” The page states that “the real issue is who and how petitions are made.”
There is an ongoing conflict between the two opposing sides. The protesters feel that they are not being properly recognized by the council, and subsequently, they are unable to get their side recognized.
The messages in the Rule 33 excerpt included: “Preventing organizations and individuals from petitioning the Worcester City Council,” “No petition, remonstrance, resolution or communication which deals with personalities or with matters not within the general supervision and/or relating to city government shall be considered by the City Council”, and “The City Clerk, with the assistance of the City Solicitor, shall determine when an item is not appropriate for placement on the City Council agenda.”