Mayor Menino Responds To Occupy Boston Arrests

BOSTON — Mayor Thomas Menino is defending the decision to arrest about 100 protesters on the Rose Kennedy Greenway early Tuesday, saying “they were getting out of control.”

The arrests came after the demonstrators tried to expand their encampment beyond their original site in Dewey Square outside the Federal Reserve Bank.

Menino told WBUR’s Morning Edition host Bob Oakes that the protesters had exceeded the boundaries set up for their original encampment.

“We will tolerate demonstrations, we will tolerate expressions of free speech, but when it comes to civil disobedience we have a real issue with that, that is why we moved in last night,” Menino said.

“Civil disobedience doesn’t work for Boston; it doesn’t work for anyone,” he added.

Protesters are accusing some of the police of using what they believe to have been excessive force on a peaceful demonstration. Menino said that he and the police commissioner will take those claims into consideration.

He also said that he “sympathizes” with many of the issues taken up by Occupy Boston, such as problems with corporate America, equity and the foreclosure crisis.

He also said that the protests were costing the city a lot of resources and that he would make a decision about the end of the encampment in the “near future,” but did not specify the timeline.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • Lynne

    Menino has been sitting in that office for far too long. Let the people use THE PEOPLE’S GREENWAY. They are too cramped in Dewey Sq, they need the space and until you were a jerk about it, they have been VERY cooperative. 

    “Civil disobedience doesn’t work” – are you kidding me?? You are a complete idiot.
    So let me get this straight – you are against MLK, the civil rights era, the antiwar protests of the 60s…basically, you think MLK was wrong then?Give me a break. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman


    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman


    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman


  • rob

    Somewhere Gandhi ji is very disappointed.

    • http://twitter.com/hendrey hendrey

      No, somewhere Gandhi is proud of the protesters. “First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they attack you. And then they build monuments to you.” 

  • Atomicdesign

    At least that wasteland of space longing for a purpose is being used. It’s so bizarre that these politicians don’t read their history books. Human social psychology 101; Squelch a protest and they’ll protest more. Duh.

  • X-Ray

    When the protesters occupy the “Public Space” they take it away from the use of the rest of the People. Their rights end where mine starts. They cannot unilaterally take over Public Spaces. Furthermore, if their occupation destroys or causes injury to public property, they need to pay for that damage.

    • Chris Braiotta

      This is bonkers. By this logic you can’t sit on a park bench eating lunch because you’re keeping someone else from doing so.

      • X-Ray

        Typical non-sequitur, failure of logic, exaggeration or distortion. If a park bench is occupied by an individual, that is normal. For three people to occupy park bench, continuously to deny others the use is obstruction and should be dealt with.

    • Guest

      Not to mention that the entire Greenway is full of spaces for the public to gather, including a speaker’s stone right outside Faneuil Hall with a dedication on it to PUBLIC COMMENTARY AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

        his sort of protest simply summons the ghost of RichRD NIXON, WHOKNEW HOW TO SQUELCH A HIPPY-DIPPY MASS OUTRAGE

  • http://twitter.com/37ft2in CG

    I’m so disappointed in Menino & Boston today. 

  • MMM

    I watched the livestream last night as the BPD destroyed all possessions located on the park into the back of garbage trucks. Was hard to believe what I witnessed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman


  • Demosthenes16476

    normally, if someone comes into my home with the intent of destroying it, id get “a little out of control” too.

    • RICH

      Boston public lands are not “your home”  its owned by the public.  Let the public speak!

      boy you would have been on the wrong side of the Revolution.  shame shame

      To the protesters:  Carry on in the American Spirit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

        Let the hippy dips defects on somebody else’s public property-and flowers.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

          A MOB OF HIPPY-DIPS CHANTING DLOGANS in unison doth not a revolution make.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

          A MOB OF HIPPY-DIPS CHANTING DLOGANS in unison doth not a revolution make.

  • Bruce Backa

    This is what the ordinary citizen misses. We are not a FREE country, we are a two-party dictatorship. Nowhere is anyone claiming that the protestors were violent or destructive. They were simply inconvenient. Now how would you distinguish us from Egypt..? The citizens haven’t won yet..? Sad, very sad.

  • wanzer

    Boston’s civil disobedience has been the spark of change many times before. The Mayor is not a statesman or a leader. He is a politician and will never ascend to anything beyond that and he knows it. His reaction is typical and expected. Politicians do not rock boats.

  • http://twitter.com/OurFadedGarden FadedGarden

    Is this why they beat the veterans for peace?

  • Lancerdgw

    The police could have negotiated.  Instead they forcefully evicted them.  That is all you need to know.

  • Demosthenes16476

    this land is OUR land, it is OUR home, we will OCCUPY.  The Voice of the People is calling for change–lets not wait for the 1% to give us a bone, let them keep their money and their shiny little toys.  it is time for US to take care of US–we do not need others to tell us how to do that.  WE know that, at heart, we are ALL just people, we all NEED the same things–food, clothing, shelter, LOVE, and COMMUNITY.  for too long, we have bought into this idea of ME and MINE–it should be US and OURS that we focus on.  maybe everybody, in every Occupation should gather in a march from CA all the way to DC.  when we get there, we tell them–THIS IS OURS.  WE THE PEOPLE are here to take it back.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

      You don’t get to take anything from the rest of us. It’s OURewpublic, not the hippy-dip’s.

  • Matt B

    Mayor Meninor should be absolutely ashamed of himself. He broke up a peaceful protest in the middle of the night like a third-world thug. Then, to say  that “civil disobedience doesn’t work” while he exploits Boston’s Revolutionary War history to promote tourism. This is a man who talks out of both sides of his mouth. Civil disobedience doesn’t work? Tell that to the Sons of Liberty. The mayor is a traitor to his city.

    • Matt B

      Menino*. Please excuse the typo.

    • http://twitter.com/hendrey hendrey

      Well…he’s right. Civil disobedience didn’t work for Boston in the 1770s. A violent struggle was what it actually took to free American citizens from the yoke of oppression. Hmmm…maybe civil disobedience doesn’t sound so bad after all.

      Seriously, though, what’s truly shocking is that the word Menino uses to express his feelings about the First Amendment right of the American people to “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” is that he “tolerates” it. Not “cherishes” or “respects.” Just “tolerates.” Wow!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

        This particular iteration of the imaginary revolution is beginning to unravel.  the publicity fades, the authority stop now-towing and the first freeze hits people who’ve never camped on anything less welcoming than the college quad.When the tents freeze to the ground and the sleeping bags freeze stiff, revolutionary fervor won’t outweigh the stench and the trust funders wil, like theArabs) silently steal(away).

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

      Qw got the British off the common by planting guns in Dorchester.  Winter is coming and the ghost of 1968 is doomed.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    Civil Disobedience did work for Thoreau… well not really for making his statement directly, since his aunty came and bailed him out, but the essay was definitely good for his writing career.

  • Jerry Osullivan

    What would Ray Fynn do?

  • Alex Namzoff

    Civil disobedience is what this country was founded on. Let’s stand together until we get this country back on track.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

      But you’d better stand together somewhere else.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/P7S27UVVZ467GZNV6ZSQACRFXA Dave

    Menino is Boston’s Richard
    Daley the 1st (well… he’s actually the latest in a long series): A mumbling populist who butchers the English language,
    has been in power for way too long, and wants to keep those meddling kids off of his beautiful $18B front lawn that they will all be paying for for
    the rest of their lives (even though hardly anyone is using it for anything else).

  • Ifn_gamma

    Civil disobedience doesn’t work?  I guess no one told MLK.

  • Anonymous

    CD doesn’t work?  I wonder what Menino thinks does work?   It is not clear that his approach has been any more effective in getting the rich to pay their fair share?   The Democratic party has repeatedly lurched to the right for over a decade and Republicans are going to vote down tax cuts to millionaires this week.   Civil Disobedience is our last hope for a system that has stopped working.    I think there is a good chance that Menino is going to eat these words before this is over.

  • RICH

    I am so commited to voting the mayor OUT.

    He’s been in office to long and has lost touch with the people!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

      not being in touch with these people is probably a good idea on sanitary grounds.

  • Matt W

    Yeah, civil disobedience is for anarchists and hoodlums, like Thoreau and Ghandi. Certainly not a legitimate way to get the attention of a government that clearly can’t get out of its own way or out from behind corporate wallets. Mumbles, you should be ashamed for removing peacefully protesting citizens from their own public land. 

    Always a pleasure listening to Bob though! Thanks WBUR for covering this story, and keep it up!

    • Guest

      Couldn’t have said it better.

  • thegreengrass

    Civil disobedience doesn’t work? You might wanna tell Martin Luther King that.

  • Demosthenes16476

    can we take a vote on this “proposal”?

    we the united people of these united states, hereby proclaim an end to the rule of this government.  it has failed us.  it no longer represents our values and interests.  it has been bought by corporate and private interests with the singular goal of stripping our rights and liberties in the pursuit of profit.  policy is no longer determined by the people, for the people, and this is certainly no longer a governing body of the people.  our faith in the system is broken–we do not trust those we elect into office to carry out the duties required of them.  we do not trust those we elect into office to follow through with their own promises.  money and power has bought them and they now only pursue more money and more power at the expense of our people and our land.  we furthermore believe the problem to be systemic.  there is no reforming this system, it is crumbling and has left our land fractured.  too many have lost their jobs, their homes, their families and have no hope while those with the power to stop it sit by and tell us if we, the people, only did more, worked harder, bought more, borrowed more, paid more, sacrificed more, things would get better.  they took our money and gave it to those who already controlled the most money to help save us, but they kept it for themselves.  billions were made on the backs of we, the people, but what do we get from it?  job cuts, foreclosures, repossession.  we were told if we just went to college we would be able to earn more–the sky is the limit, you will all succeed and live like the stars–and its only $50,000, $80,000, $100,000, you will be able to pay that back no problem.  but here we are with no jobs, but we still owe you.  you saddled us with a debt as large as a mortgage from the moment we left high school.  we bought homes under what we were told were great conditions, were led to believe we were investing in our future, guaranteeing our retirement.  you appraised our homes at higher and higher values to perpetuate this ruse and also to make more money through higher taxes.  now we find our homes are worth a quarter of what you told us.  we have worked for you for 50, 60, 70 years or more, and still cannot afford to maintain a reasonably comfortable life.  you have stolen our retirement funds, our social security, our healthcare.  death can not come quickly enough for some of us. we are tired, hungry, and poor, abandoned and alone in the streets of the towns we built.  we fought your wars, our children and grandchildren continue to fight your wars.  we have given everything we have in the belief that our representatives and our government were doing what was best for us.  you remind our children and our grandchildren that we fought to protect the constitution of this great nation, yet you strip us of those rights any time they can be stripped.  no more.  we hereby end your rule.  we have been granted the inalienable right to end our government at any time we feel it has failed us.  you have no power if we choose not to obey you and we so choose.
    as of this moment, your currency has no value–we refuse to be beholden to it.  your laws hold no meaning–we live by a new law–the law of unity of the people.  the military is no longer yours to control and we order our brothers and sisters abroad to lay down their weapons and return to us–we need you here to protect us from the criminals and thieves who have infiltrated and assimilated our government into their league.  that is our one order for you–when you arrive, you are our brothers and sisters in solidarity.  they have abused the powers we entrusted them with, left us with nothing but decay and misery, poisoned our land, water, and air, and now we say–ENOUGH.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2GHFCGBFA74ZS2NCCZ4KC2AO4Q Alexander Jermelle

    Occupy America isn’t going away until America changes maybe he should hear that, you can force them out but they’ll be back tomorrow only bringing more. YOU CANT KILL AN IDEA!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4WYONZ2EI35Y2YX7F2UIRR4T6A Ron

    He said protests were costing the city a lot of resources. How is that possible? Were the protestors violent, destructive, or perhaps they needed a lot of police protection?

    It doesn’t seem that way.

    Perhaps he could attempt to explain a bit better. In terms that make sense to adults.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

      Mumbles grows a backbone!

  • http://twitter.com/DaTechGuyblog Peter Ingemi

    Or to put it another way, the protests are being used as yet another version of the “coffee party” to try and counter the influence of the tea party, but unfortunately, the contrast between the two are not lost on the American public trying to work for a living.

    Instead of inspiring votes for the left they are speeding up the flight of independents

    Watch more mayors and pols of the left decide to abandon the protester class as they decide the useful idiots are no longer useful.

  • Guest

    Because the government will retaliate, Thoreau says he prefers living
    simply because he therefore has less to lose. “I can afford to refuse
    allegiance to Massachusetts…. It costs me less in every sense to incur
    the penalty of disobedience to the State than it would to obey. I should
    feel as if I were worth less in that case.”

    • Anonymous

      Yes. I see the connection. In fact both the Occupy and Thoreau are aimed at pointing that the system is not working. And for Thoreau disobeying or not collaborating is a way of being a really engaged citizen.

  • MRosenthal

    Ridiculous, and I hope Boston voters will retaliate through the ballot box.  I visited Dewey Square twice.  There was absolutely no disorder, and the area was amazingly clean considering the number of people who have come to participate or just watch.  The police detail had absolutely nothing to do and were standing around bored.  Menino’s argument is bogus; he just wants to look as tough as Bloomberg, who has been mean and, according to what I read, is about the evict Occupy Wall Street.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

      Boston didn’t like the 

      hippy-dips back when they still had all their teeth and didn’t smell as bas as this bunch.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for the populace to save the latrine on the greenway.  Mumbles would gain points if hr called out the National Lancersto play a chukka or two.

  • L. Knight

    “Civil disobedience doesn’t work for Boston; it doesn’t work for anyone.”

    That a Mayor of such a glorious city should have such a poor grasp of history is embarrassing.  Civil disobedience does, indeed, work.  To say otherwise ignores the civil rights movement which granted American women and African-Americans the right to vote.  To ignore those two examples, in our own history, of the success of civil disobedience. 

    I have news for you, Mayor, no one who ever committed to the act of civil disobedience cared much whether or not it was tolerated. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks. I share your point. In fact, civil disobedience works if they trigger this type of reactions.  How can someone possible say precisely in Boston ¡¡ 
      that civil disobedience does not work. For me the question is whether it is civil disobedience or civil resistance in the line of Thoreau. What do you think? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Chapman/1189989157 Charles Chapman

    People who proclaim their purpose as “bringing down”the American republic are enemies of the people-and if Gandhi or the Dalai 
    lama or the host of 

    thoreaupoops on the flowers for the same purpose, the BF?Dcan dampen their day for them as well.

Most Popular