Police in Scituate were prepared for the push back after a ban on bonfires in the town.
People have been lighting beach bonfires in Scituate for decades, but recently the town banned the blazes.
Officers took drastic action to prevent the annual July 3 bonfire celebration on Humarock Beach. They brought in a front end loader to crush pallets of wood on the beach.
The move sparked outrage with some residents, including Robert Gracie who had been collecting his wood for months.
"We're not criminals, we're taxpayers," says Gracie.
Several people were arrested during the crackdown. They appeared in court on Thursday to answer to disorderly conduct charges. According to court documents, police were met with insults and threats. The documents also claim police had to work around the crowds.
"I didn't act violently at all. I just stood there I guess you call it a peaceful protest," says one attendee.
Scituate town leaders say they issued the beach bonfire ban due to public safety concerns. In March, a wind-swept fire consumed four beachfront homes. An electrical issue, not a bonfire, started this inferno. However, it proved just how quickly the flames could spread.
Police say they will continue to do whatever it takes to enforce the ban as long as it is in place.