On Monday, August 1, more than 140 people from all around Massachusetts gathered at the Boston Globe’s offices in Dorchester to protest their ‘Spotlight on Mental Health’ series, and hold a vigil for the many lives lost to restraint, seclusion and police responses in situations with people who were in emotional distress. The main point of the protest was to speak out against the sensationalized series that painted people with psychiatric diagnoses as violent and dangerous.
Over 600 names of people lost were read aloud, and their laminated cards and flowers were left on Boston Globe property to represent each individual named. Several Boston Globe employees also came out to speak with protesters, and learn more about their perspective, including Globe Editor, Brian McGrory and Spotlight Editor, Scott Allen.
Protesters arrived with several demands, including an apology from the Boston Globe and a retraction of a recent pro-force editorial. When the Globe did not agree to these demands, about a dozen of the protesters carried out a plan to stand on the front steps of the Globe until they were heard or arrested. This plan was carried out between 5 and 6pm, and most of the protesters on the steps were arrested and released on their own recognizance later that night.
Overall, this was a very well attended and successful action, heavily supported by our own Western Mass community, and we look forward to next steps!