At the TransCanada offices, once their jackets are torn off like Superman's Oxford, it takes less than two minutes for the squad to fully lock into formation. As added insurance, each of them twists open a tube of superglue, slathers the adhesive on their palms, and joins hands with their arms across their chests. A TransCanada employee stares perplexedly at the protesters, tells them that he called the cops, and politely asks everyone to unlock. Devyn Powell, a 20-year-old Tufts junior who has been appointed the group's spokesperson, draws her line in the sand: "This isn't against anyone in this office, but we're not leaving until they stop the pipeline."
The first cop arrives on the scene 10 minutes into the disturbance, and he is not amused. As he paces around the protest circle, explaining the concept of private property, he racks his brain for some solution to the unprecedented conundrum before him — they don't get too many glue-ins around these parts. A few minutes pass, and a second officer arrives, followed by the Westborough chief of police and, minutes later, a fire truck. Even with all the king's horses and all the king's men, though, the first responders call for an outside locksmith.
In the meantime, since one cop failed to separate the protesters with sheer force — by attempting to pull their hands apart — the medics move to unseal the glue in a more delicate manner. By slowly peeling, they manage to pry most of the bonded skin apart, and loosen the rest with swabs soaked in nail-polish remover. Once the protestors are unglued, about an hour and a half into the fray, additional help arrives. Like the cops who called him, the locksmith appears anything but thrilled to be there; he puts his tools down anyway, and begins to drill Trolio's ankle lock.
In 45 minutes, the locksmith manages to free everyone's legs using the same technique — but that's the easy part. Someone still has to crack through eight $100 "New York Fahgettaboudit" locks, made of case-hardened, triple-heat-treated boron manganese steel. The manufacturer, Kryptonite, is so sure of the impenetrability of their locks, they'll replace your bike if the product is compromised. Faced with that challenge, the locksmith gives up and takes off. He cracks wise as he leaves: "I just want you kids to know," he quips, "we're going to find the people who did this to you."
It's been two and a half hours since this situation surfaced, and firemen finally decide to unleash the jaws of life as a final resort. The office looks and sounds like a construction site, with extension cords running out the door, over a railing, and down the open-air atrium to the first floor. The jaws, however, aren't tough enough, and it's inevitable that the only solution is to saw through the chains. One officer points at Riester, who has drawn the ire of the cops by whispering to his co-defendants, and volunteers him to go under the knife. A medic covers the group with a large white cloth, and prepares for the extraction.
LAWYER UP SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2013 — 4:00 PM