I totally get why you are blocking traffic. You want everyone else to be as mad as you are. You accept the risk that you might be run over or physically attacked because you believe in your cause. People might be late for work, but this draws attention to your grievances. Blocking traffic might be illegal, but at least nobody is getting hurt, right?
Would you still stand in the way if you saw an ambulance with its lights and siren on? I hope you would at least let traffic through in a life or death situation. But here are a couple of things you need to know about ambulances. When an ambulance is transporting a patient to the ER, most of the time it does so with the siren turned off. The patient still needs to get to the hospital quickly, but high speeds, flashing lights, and loud noises can be traumatizing. Sirens are mostly only used when the ambulance is en route to a scene, or when the patient is in cardiac arrest. So, most of the time, you cannot tell if an ambulance has a patient on board.
Ambulance crews are also trained to NOT enter a scene if it looks too dangerous. A firefighter will enter a burning building to save you. A police officer will kick down a door with his gun drawn to save or arrest you. An EMT will sit in his ambulance as you are burning and bleeding to death until somebody else puts out the fire or catches the bad guy. The reason for this is if the EMT gets hurt, the dispatcher has to send TWO MORE ambulances: one for the original patient and one for the medic who tried to play hero.
So if an EMT is transporting a patient and sees a crowd of people standing in the highway, he might decide it′s not worth the risk to find out why they are there. He will find a way around the crowd and this will delay the patient′s arrival at the ER. The patient can die because of this delay. In many states, it is a felony to interfere with an EMS crew. A prosecutor could apply this charge to anyone who knowingly blocks an ambulance. If it can be established that a patient died as a result of traffic being blocked, the charges can be upgraded to felony murder.
Two New Jersey state officials have already been convicted and are awaiting sentencing for their role in blocking traffic as part of the Bridgegate scandal. If government officials can go to jail for blocking traffic for political reasons, anybody can. Whether or not you think New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered the lane closures, I bet he really wishes that they hadn′t happened. That is the kind of ″help″ that a candidate doesn′t want and a cause doesn′t need.
If the leaders that you are protesting are as bad as you think they are, they will engineer ways to make you look like the villain and can come up with excuses to lock you away. Whether it is fair or not, people will judge your cause based on the way you act. Don′t make it easy for your opponents to make you look bad. Either clean up your act, or just go back to being a petty thug if you can′t help yourself. No worthy cause should ever be tarnished by the actions of criminals. If you can′t help being a criminal, stay out of politics and activism altogether. Otherwise, obey the law during protests, and make a recording of the proceedings so that everyone knows what really happened.