WBUR

BPD Arrest Protesters From ‘Occupy Boston’

BOSTON — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu63e7QD_5k

Participants in the “Occupy Boston” protest in Dewey Square were contemplating their next moves Tuesday afternoon, following a round of arrests overnight.

Several protesters were transported to Boston Municipal Court to face arraignment for ignoring warnings to move from part of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, where a group of the Occupy Boston movement were attempting to expand their encampment.

Boston police reported that they arrested 129 people starting at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, mostly for trespassing.

The Suffolk district attorney’s office said 18 protesters were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, with 35 more expected to be arraigned in the next two days.

Several other protesters were in court Tuesday as a show of support. Others, like Lisa Doherty, stayed on the Greenway. Doherty said she thought that in the long run, the arrests will help the protesters’ cause.

“It’s going to galvanize more people to come here, just like it did on Wall Street,” Doherty said. “As soon as the police started brutalizing people on Wall Street, that place exploded, and I’m really hoping that’s what happens here.”

The protesters, part of the national Occupy Wall Street movement, had tried to expand from their original site in Dewey Square to a second site across the street, along the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The protesters say they had outgrown their space and needed room for additional tents. A local conservancy group recently planted $150,000 worth of shrubs along the Greenway and officials said they were concerned about damage.

Boston police had warned protesters for several hours that they would have to return to Dewey Square, where a tent city has been steadily growing, and issued leaflets saying protesters could not occupy the Greenway.

Hundreds of transit, MBTA, county and state police surrounded the square as riot police carrying batons and plastic handcuffs entered the encampment and asked people to leave early Tuesday morning. As arrests began, some protesters linked arms around the tents, while others sat down, refusing to leave the new encampment. Most went calmly, while others were forcibly dragged by police out of the Greenway.

Nadeem Mazen, of Occupy Boston, says they are on public land and “the brutality of this action was unwarranted,” referring to the police activity around the arrests.

“I did not expect to see people thrown to the ground,” Mazen said. “I did not expect to see older people thrown to the ground and punched in the face or that kind of thing.”

City officials deny mistreating demonstrators.

Boston resident Matt Hollander, 25, said a group of veterans carrying American flags were standing in between police and the protesters when officers advanced on them. One veteran, he said, was pushed to the ground and a group of protesters fell in a heap.

“If they wanted to arrest us they could have done that without pushing us…without tramping the flag,” Hollander said.

Another protester, Shawdeen Vatan, 21, of Arlington, said she was not surprised at what happened.

“We’re being seen as a legitimate organization,” she said. “People are panicking and trying to get us out of here.”

Police did not report any arrests from an earlier standoff, where hundreds of students from 10 area colleges marched through downtown Monday, briefly confronting police while attempting to hang a banner on a Boston bridge.

The protesters gathered on Boston Common and marched in front of the Massachusetts State House carrying signs that read “Apathy isn’t working, Raise your voice,” and chanting slogans like “Fund education, not corporations” and “We got sold out. Rich got bailed out.

They later marched to a Charlestown bridge near the city’s North End neighborhood hoping to hang a banner.

Police blocked the bridge, which was closed for about an hour before the protesters dispersed. Two demonstrators appeared to scuffle with officers during the standoff. Police did not immediately report any arrests.

The protesters on Wall Street and in Boston and other cities have described themselves at the “99 percent” — referring to what they say are the vast number of Americans struggling to pay their bills while the income gap between the rich and middle class widens.

With reporting by the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press

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  • http://twitter.com/TrioxideJL one of the 99%

    “Occupy BostonNo doubt you have heard that activists have pitched tents on the Dewey Square lawn area, as part of OccupyBoston. All scheduled Greenway events (including the Boston Public Market and the Greenway Mobile Food Fest) are going forward, as planned. OccupyBoston organizers have been very cooperative with the Conservancy and the Boston Police Department to date, and have agreed to avoid the planting beds and adhere to common sense rules of conduct. The Boston Police Department will handle potential public safety issues.”-http://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/the-conservancy/newsthe Police Commissioner Claims They where “Anarchists” -http://www.twitvid.com/VHIU9The Police Cleared Out the Media!Took this video watched it as it happened. http://www.youtube.com/user/trioxide01National Lawyers Guild 4 help: (617)227-7335.

    • Guest

      what happened to all of those links? were they censored?

    • Scaretfire

      Has the city given any other options as to where you might be able to expand?  I don’t drive through that area a lot but I can’t think of many open areas?  Is there a permit for protest or do you need one?  If so, I’d think that they need to find alternative space.  We are entitled to gather and express ourselves in a peaceful manner.  I’ll be out when I get back from NJ.

  • Cathywolff

    I know this is breaking news, but consider routinely putting the focus — the reason –of the protest higher in your stories And perhaps the context). Also,  please consider avoiding the constant use of the word “protesters.” “People” actually would work in at least a couple of spots. But thanks for coverage. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002228533110 Steafan Dubhuidhe

    The BPD tossed an American flag on the ground and marched over it.

  • Mary Andriotakis

    The leaflets the cops passed out also threatened jail time for people who did not leave and admitted they had spys among us and had been video taping  people who would later be targeted. They lied about the occupation of the new camp. It was set up yesterday while the police followed us all around the city as we marched. Worry about and preparing for the police to come also wasted the whole evening. They paralized us with their terrorist tactics. When they finally came, they beat people with batons and after the arrests, tore down and put into waiting garbage trucks, everything from the camp including signs and medical supplies. I watched tents put in whole and the garbage truck crushing everything. It was not a pretty sight.

    • Solsoons

      do you have a copy of the leaflet? I’d like to see it.

  • Anonymous

    I almost have to wonder if this is some kind of tongue-in-cheek attempt to promote this cause. The Occupy movement gains momentum when the police become involved. Reminiscent, in some ways, of the civil rights movements of the 20th century: http://michaelmaczesty.blogspot.com/2011/10/house-always-wins.html

  • John Y.

    Thank goodness for corporate profits (called “greed”) by the protesters.  I have my retirement money invested in various corporations which include Motel 6, Ford motor company, drug companies and Apple corporation.  Their profits (which are not very large) are funding my retirement.  I started out very poor, worked my way through college and now am labeled bad or greedy since my and my wife’s (also with a PhD) income is finally abouve $250,000.  We are fortunate enough (i.e. worked hard enough) that I am capable of sending 4 children and 2 grandchildren through college.   I am not rich.  I strongly disagree with the major themes of the protesters.

    • Kate

      We aren’t labeling you as bad or greedy at all! This movement fully supports you, and doesn’t consider you one of the rich 1% that we are expressing frustration with. As someone who also worked their way through college to earn a higher ed degree, I unfortunately am now faced with extremely high student loans, have been without healthcare at times, and am one of the lucky ones with a job. College costs and healthcare costs have skyrocketed since you graduated and entered the job market, while jobs and working wages have not improved. And many people lost their retirement through no fault of their own during the financial crisis. It’s wonderful that you could put your family through college, and I commend you for that, but please don’t denigrate those of us who did exactly what you did, but in a worse economic environment.

      • John Y.

        I am not denigrating you Kate.  I appreciate your hard work.  I just don’t believe that you would be better-off with a socialistic economic system.  You should blame the current government leaders and their over-taxing, over-spending and over-regulating policies.

    • T. Ferguson

      Perhaps by your standards John.  I’d argue that if you are in a position to send 4 kids and 2 grandchildren to college you’re faring much better than most in this nation, as the statistical evidence would suggest.  You aren’t labelled bad or greedy because you worked hard and succeeded, which is admirable.   You’re labelled bad or greedy because you lack empathy.  You mention that you started out very poor yourself, so try standing in another person’s shoes in the current world and circumstances.  Things have changed since your day my friend.  Despite your self adulation I’m sure you benefited from a collective resource at some point in your years of work and education (taxpayer provided or otherwise), if not a generally healthy economic environment.  These are things being taken away from this generation- but were good enough for yours of course.  Enjoy your retirement, as most of us probably won’t have one despite how hard we work.  A good amount of most folk’s retirement funds were recently stolen by the robber barons and casino gamblers on Wall Street, and that alone seems worthy of protest.

      • John Y.

        What most of the protesters don’t understand is that “economics is not a zero-sum game”.  You don’t have to take from the (often hard working) rich to give to the poor.  With a well-functioning economy everyone can do better.  However if you take from the “rich” (that is me with $250k +) income, we will not be able to invest our savings in corporations and other businesses.  Thus the poor will lose their jobs and/or do less well.  A good economy also needs investment bankers and groups that are willing to risk their money in high risk new companies (most of which fail but some of which grow greatly). Lower capital gains taxes are their reward for investing in high-risk new ventures (which are at a very low level right now).  Obama’s “jobs plan” if actually paid for by taxing the rich, will simply transfer private sector jobs to short term government jobs that cost a many hundred thousand dollars each.  This “class warfare” has to stop. 

        • John Y.

          Let me rephrase what I just wrote :

          What most of the protesters don’t understand is that “economics is not a zero-sum game”.  You don’t have to take from the (often hard working) rich to give to the poor.  With a WELL-FUNCTIONING economy everyone can do better.  A socialist economy is NEVER well run.  Look at history.   All examples of socialism have ended up hurting the poor.  Although imperfect, capitalism is the best economic choice we have.

    • Maryam Moulai

      This is the problem that is dividing the middle class.  People who make $100k or $250k or even $500k a probably have a reasonably comfortable life and feel “rich,” so when they hear about a movement that opposes the unfettered power of the ultra-wealthy, they feel attacked.   But really, you’re one of us, not one of them.  There are individuals who only pay a 15% capital gains tax on their millions of dollars of income per year, while you have to pay taxes at a much higher rate on your $250k.  Is that fair?  The ultra-wealthy have a really sweet deal going on right now (lowest tax rate since WWII!), and they want to pit us against each other so we don’t realize that we’re actually on the same side.  Don’t buy their nonsense.

  • Lukas Zokny

     MAN, it’s all about greed MAN those corporations are taking away what’s ours MAN,  Yeah, they’re taking away our stuff MAN!!!

    oh wait.., hang on, my Iphone is ringing…,

    • John Y.

      Great parody on the protesters aims.

  • CD

    I sure hope that all these “Occupiers”  are buying products from all the small Mom & Pop businesses that they are camping out in front of.. “think”

    • http://profiles.google.com/tcnoble Tim Noble

      You must not be from Boston, because there aren’t really a lot of “Mom & Pop” businesses in that location. Most of the places to buy food are chain restaurants and coffee shops that serve the people that work in the office buildings nearby. The closest thing to family owned businesses would be the restaurants in Chinatown, most of which are about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the location of the protest.

      • Guest

        Wow a five minute walk. That would be grueling. 

    • Kate

      Great point, thank you! Most of us aren’t actually buying anything in the area. The food tent has plenty of donations to feed us, thanks to the generosity of many, and we have been filling water from taps. That being said, when we do buy things, we have been making an effort to go to exactly those sort of local, non-corporately owned places (i.e. a local pizza joint rather than, say, quiznos)

    • Lulu

      There aren’t any, really. They’re mostly right in front of the behemoth Federal Reserve, and law/bank high rises. Is that the best critique you can come up with? Besides, couldn’t it be good for business?

  • Cahoisington

    I think it’s unfortunate that most of the people who post negative comments about Occupy Boston haven’t even been downtown to get a look at the diverse crowd or listen to the message. As an educated professional who rarely uses the term “OH MAN” and who also works multiple jobs to support my family, I for one am grateful that the occupiers are in Dewey Square and plan to participate in the marches whenever I can. They are provoking us to think and talk about issues that do not get adequately addressed inn the political arena or in the media. Just because we all rely on corporate enterprise and innovation doesn’t mean that corporations should get a free pass. And for the record, $250,000 doesn’t qualify you as rich. You are still one of the 99%. 

  • Justin

    I can’t believe people stand for this. These people were actually arrested and prevented from protesting as the Constitution allows, just in case they damaged some bushes.

    • Paul, Boston MA

      The Constitution doesn’t allow for what they were trying to do.

      • Anonymous

        What they are trying to do, is bring attention to inequities in a system that tears apart society and ensures that 15 of the population holds 50%+ of the wealth.

        The Constitution guarantees Free Speech and gathering peacefully to demand redress from government, which is what the occupiers are doing. The only violence has come from the police.

    • Anonymous

      The BPD did all of the destruction, Occupiers are very concerned about how things are treated around them…not so w/Davis’ tactics. Strategically, this was idiocy on the part of the BPD.

  • Reenspace

    The BPD seems to forget that they are part of the 99%, and these people are also demonstrating for them.  So bushes over people…

    • thegreengrass

      EXACTLY. They are the ones the occupiers are trying to give a voice to. I understand nobody wants to lose their job over something like this, and everyone needs the one they’ve got, but at the point that greenery is worth more than peoples’ rights, we’ve slipped into a very dark place.

  • Natr

    Good to see some action on behalf of ordinary people.  I wish they would call it “Occupy Mainstreet”

  • Rob Z

    Finally, we have youth motivated to participate in their
    democracy because of the social inequities and hypocrisy in this country. What
    could be more worthwhile? Ironically, the same silly criticisms were waged on
    the Vietnam War protestors in the 60s and 70s and served to exacerbate the intensity of the protests. Power to the people.

    • thegreengrass

      I bet the governments of Egypt and Libya had similar criticisms of protesters there too. The powers that be in the US are a joke.

  • thegreengrass

    An MSNBC article says that “a conservancy group had planted shrubs worth around $150,000 along the greenway and officials were worried about damage”.

    So… in the United States, we value shrubs more than the rights of people to voice their decent in a public park? Seriously?

    • Paul, Boston MA

      The Greenway is a public venue, but it’s owned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. It’s private property and it has rules.

      The owners and the city have let you have Dewey Square for the time being, permit free, and all they asked of you is that you not destroy another parcel that had recently been fixed up. The Greenway Conservancy maintains those spaces with money they get through fundraising. They are a not-for-profit group. (You know, part of the 99%)

      The police did not swoop in there unannounced. Everything was explained to you repeatedly. But you decided to literally bite the hand that’s been feeding you.

      Not very smart. You lost a lot of credibility last night. And if that’s not bad enough, the over the top press release that appeared on the ‘Occupy Boston’ website this morning, where you tried to make it sound like vicious stormtroopers were beating people into submission before dragging them off to the camps, well…. Did the author of that release take hyperbole training from FoxNews?

      You’ve taken a giant step backwards.

      • Anonymous

        Point is, the occupiers took care not to do damage…all of the damage was done by the BPD.
        I guess, “we must destroy it to save it”, as insane as most people would find that statement, is the BPD motto now.

        There was no reason for the BPD to act as they did.

        • Paul, Boston MA

          Point is, the ‘occupiers’ shouldn’t have been there.

          There was no reason for the occupiers to act as they did.

          • Anonymous

            You are incorrect. Occupiers have been exceptionally civil and community minded.

            They have every reason to be there, especially under the First Amendment that protects citizens and guarantees the Right for people to gather together and press the government for redress of grievances. I suggest yopu go down to Dewey Square and talk to the Occupiers rather than sit at a computer passing judgment; most likely you’d figure out that we are down there for you as well.

          • XZORIANX

            Yeah Paul, watch the video of one of the protesters with hands at his sides…saying…”this is not fair,”…….and then watch as a cop grabs his throat area and throws him face to the ground……while with attitude asks him….”How is this for fair?” These assaults were done in the dark of the night, so mostly you can’t what is happening.

            Enough already Paul, stop blaming the victims. You sound like the kind of guy, who blames a woman having been raped, for not wearing a bra. A lot of people should not have done….what they have done, and this country/world is in ruin because of it. To even suggest…these people should not have been there, really makes me wonder why you even show at all??? It seems you have not yet connected all of the dots. Dig a little deeper, a bit further. Then come back, and meanwhile…speaking of back…stop patting yourself on the back at the same time. It’s not about you, but something much a bit bigger than that!

            I was there Sunday and Monday, and met a diverse group of people, of all ages…who have been respectful for far too long. Myself being one them. Even a Buddhist will tell you…”When The Wolves Come In To Take The Lambs,” at some point you need to say…..enough is enough and defend them!”

            What are your intention???? You seem confused????

      • thegreengrass

        Hi Paul. Why do you keep saying “you”?

        That’s all fine. I’m just taking note that the one part of the story that was covered was the fact that someone thought their plants would get trampled.

        I somehow get the feeling that no matter what happens, you don’t take a positive view of the feelings of the protesters, so I’ll be taking whatever you say with a grain of salt.

        • Paul, Boston MA

          It wasn’t ‘someone’, it was the city of Boston and the Greenway C0nservancy. Did you even read my argument?

          I’ve been a supporter of Occupy Boston since day one, and I’ve written a lot of positive comments and I go to Dewey Square almost every day to talk to people.

          But that nonsense last night left a sour taste in my mouth. So did that overdone article about brutality that I read at OccupyBoston.com.

          When I say ‘you’ , it should be obvious who I’m talking to. Take it with a grain of salt if you want to, but your support is evaporating. 

          • thegreengrass

            I certainly read that you wrote that the Greenway was simultaneously a “public venue” and “private property”.

            It’s really hard to listen to anyone that comes across as offensive for no reason, spouting “you did this” and “you didn’t listen” when you don’t even know who you’re talking to. Just so you don’t keep imagining things, I wasn’t there, and I never have been.

            I was just pointing out the baseness with which people in a position of authority view protesters. Think about it a little bit. People of a certain age complain that young people have no motivation, that they’re spoon-fed everything, that they lack fire, conviction, blah blah blah, right? Then young people actually do something, and in a big way, actually shouting out their convictions, and then it comes down to what?

            Plants versus people. If those plants cost $150,000, how much do you think the education cost of the people who were told they had to go to college to get a job, while at the same time the captains of industry were figuring out how to outsource their labor needs as quickly as possible? You may not have needed a college degree in your day, but you’re up the creek today if you don’t have one.

          • BosObserver

            Hi Paul

            So if you had such strong objections to us attempting to hold the second camp couldn’t you have moved to block during the GA on the subject?  This movement practices direct democracy.  If anyone disagrees so strongly with an action that the group wants to take they can move to block the vote.

            The actions of the group on Monday night/Tuesday morning were arrived at by a consensus of those present.  If you disagree with the way the movement is handling something then you need to be there and let your voice be heard.

            We’re not looking to trample anyone’s opinions (unlike those poor bushes).  We’re a consensus movement.  We don’t make decisions by edict, but rather by a consensus of the group.  If you feel so strongly about the issues then I encourage you to show up at 7 pm any evening for the General Assembly and let your voice be heard.

      • Shirley Kressel

        No, it is NOT private property.  It is public property, owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The Conservancy merely has enabling legislation to manage the park, and a lease setting its terms. 

        The legislation says:
         

        SECTION 3. (a)  …the greenway shall be treated as a public park and a
        traditional open public forum without limiting free speech,

        The lease states: 

        WHEREAS, the Parties have agreed to set forth in
        this Lease terms and conditions that will preserve the Greenway as park land subject to the
        protections afforded to public parkland under Article XCVII of the Amendments to the
        Massachusetts Constitution and ensure that the Greenway and the Other Open Space Parcels shall always be
        open to the general public…
         

        SECTION 3.3. Obligations with Respect to Public
        Parklands. The Parties acknowledge that the Leased Premises shall be treated as a public
        park and a traditional open public forum

        without limiting free
        speech…

        Lessor hereby reserves and retains during the Term the following rights
        and easements in and with respect to the Leased Premises… provided that the exercise of the rights and easements reserved and retained under
        this Section does not adversely affect…the use of
        the Greenway as a public park and a traditional open public forum.

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