By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – In the wake of Thursday’s widely-panned shutdown of I-93 north- and southbound by political protesters, it’s useful to remember that up until now, the demonstrations sparked by high-profile cases of black men killed by police have been notably successful.

All of a sudden, shoddy policing is taking well-deserved heat, and even good police forces are redoubling their efforts to connect with community concerns.

It’s not by coincidence that Friday, several bills will be filed on Beacon Hill to deal with some of those issues, including one mandating greater scrutiny of police stops and another requiring that independent investigators he hired to probe civilian deaths at the hands of police. I spoke with several of the legislators involved with those bills and they said the aftermath of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases has generated unprecedented political momentum for their agenda.

But none of them seemed happy with what happened Thursday on I-93. They know that putting public safety at risk and potentially jeopardizing the jobs of workers is not a way to win friends and influence people.

Protesters connected together on I-93, Jan. 15, 2015. (WBZ-TV)

Protesters connected together on I-93, Jan. 15, 2015. (WBZ-TV)

Some of the protestors, using jarring reverse-racist jargon, say they needed to shut down the highway to fight “white complacency.” But people trying to get to work are not necessarily complacent; they’re people trying to get to work.

Let’s face it, no one with a clue wants anything to do with anarchists, if that’s what these kids were.

The challenge for legit protesters is to make sure they don’t spoil the progress they’ve made.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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Jon Keller

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