Boston University Professor Nathan Phillips was arrested last week during a climate change protest event.
According to a student newspaper report, Boston University Professor Nathan Phillips, part of Boston University’s Earth & Environment department, was arrested after allegedly blocking an escalator at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Phillips is a member of an activist group called “Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station.” On the group’s website, they argue that the compressor station will cause a “serious health risk” to local residents.
This proposed compressor station will create air, noise, and odor problems that will affect residents in Weymouth, Quincy, Braintree, and the South Shore. Compressors pose a serious health risk, especially when in such close proximity to a dense residential area. There’s also a history of catastrophic accidents at similar Compressors that could paralyze traffic, devastate our waterfront, and put residents at serious risk.
Phillips was there to protest the construction of a natural gas compressor station. According to police, Phillips stood on the escalator with a large cloth protest sign that read “Time to Escalate.” At one point, police told Phillips that he would be arrested if he did not move off of the escalator. After he refused to comply, Phillips was arrested.
A Facebook video captured the moment that Phillips was arrested by Boston police.
“Our hope was to highlight this issue and really put pressure on the DEP to do the right thing,” one member of Phillips’ protest group said in a comment, “which is denying the remaining permits to protect this community from this toxic compressor station.”
In a short interview with Campus Reform, Phillips said that he did not blame the police officers for doing their job.
“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,” Phillips said. “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.’”
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