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.