BOSTON - A group of tax protesters were wounded this morning when a nearby bridge collapsed into rubble from years and years of neglect.
The collapse also took down a set of power and telephone lines, knocking out service to nearly 1,000 local homes. "In truth, those lines were ready to fall down on their own," confessed Stuart Miller, a city engineer investigating the incident. "We were all kinda surprised they made it this long. They were put up sometime in the 1950s."
The tax protesters, who call themselves "Tax Freedom for Boston" or T.F.B., were holding a rally in the parking lot near the overpass when it collapsed. According to eyewitnesses, John Jacob Johnson, the rally's chief organizer, was in the middle of his speech when the incident occurred. "I believe that taxes, indeed, are the same as stealing from people," said Johnson in his speech. "We need to slim down government, drastically," he continued, and was then interrupted by the overpass' collapse.
Johnson was hospitalized, along with 12 others, with minor injuries and released this afternoon. The T.F.B. almost immediately announced their rally would be rescheduled "sometime next week.... [and] no where near any crumbling infrastructure."
City officials downplayed the bridge's failure, attributing it to "increasingly robust traffic patterns... that emerge when you have a thriving economy." "Although this particular collapse is unfortunate," said Boston Mayor Sullivan Boyle, "as are all the bridges that collapse in our fair city each year, we have to recognize this as a symptom, no matter how terrible, of our city's continued commitment to strong economic growth, a low tax environment, and increased jobs for our hard working citizens."
City engineer Miller, meanwhile, admitted he felt "horrible" over what happened. "Me and the other two guys in the engineering department, we feel just awful about what happened," Miller said. "And when they get back from their mandatory furlough in April, you can bet we're gonna go out and do some inspections of the bridges that are still left!"