WBUR

Occupiers Remain As Police Don’t Evict Overnight

BOSTON — Approximately three dozen protesters remain Friday of the once-hundreds that used to occupy Dewey Square.

Protesters are figuring out what to do next after Boston Police did not evict demonstrators from their Dewey Square campsite overnight, despite Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s announcement Thursday that they had until midnight to voluntarily leave the camp.

Occupy Boston member Noah McKenna says that confrontation may be inevitable and a positive outcome for the protesters.

“We will hopefully get a couple hundred arrests,” McKenna said. “Arresting peaceful protesters when the knowledge of the criminal [activity] in the financial sector is so widespread is really powerful.”

Menino said he’s keeping a close eye on protesters in Dewey Square Friday.

“We’ve worked really well with these protesters,” Menino said. “I’m not going to have a city that’s going to blow up and have people using tear gas and beating on people. That’s not our standard in Boston.”

BPD Superintendent William Evans delivered the notice to cheering demonstrators just after 1 a.m. Friday.

WBUR’s Bianca Vazquez Toness reported protesters are predicting BPD will move into the encampment over the next few days, and are discussing options.

Occupy Boston protesters say their movement will continue, even if they’re not at Dewey Square. Meanwhile, occupier Steven Squibb said they plan to buy ad space in Boston newspapers on Monday.

“This movement will continue, it’s not going anywhere, it’s going to be here for a very long time, whether we are physically located in Dewey or otherwise,” Squibb said.

Some demonstrators are considering moving into a building, including foreclosed homes or shut-down schools, while others think it’s silly to spend the time and effort on an outdoor camp now that it’s winter.

Occupy Boston member John Dwyer says there is a bright side to the impending eviction.

“A lot of our energy goes to just keeping the camp running,” Dwyer said. “Now that the possibility that we won’t have a physical encampment is sort of looming on us, presumably, we’ll have more energy to devote to getting our message out there.”

As far as when police plan to evict the protesters, Evans said, “We’re going to work with them, I know the mayor’s always worked with them, he’s been great, and hopefully over the next couple of hours, over the next day, they’ll move out voluntarily and leave on a high note. Because no one wins if people get hurt and people get arrested.”

Police showed restraint overnight Thursday, and the atmosphere was festive as protesters chanted and played music.

As many as 1,000 people flooded Dewey Square leading up to the midnight ultimatum to clear out. When it became clear that police weren’t making any moves, the crowd burst into the street, blocking Atlantic Avenue, singing and drumming.

Police arrested two people overnight for not leaving a tent they’d moved into the street.

“We didn’t want to make any arrests, but that was their goal, they refused to come out, even the Occupy Boston people were trying to tell them to come out,” Evans said. “But symbolically they wanted to be arrested. We had to clear the streets, so they were arrested.”

Protesters rallied through Menino’s midnight deadline, overflowing Dewey Square.

“As long as we’re here having a party, they’re going to have a hard time crushing us down. And we’re going to do that every night this weekend,” said protester Stephanie Fail overnight.

Menino’s deadline followed Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre’s rejection Wednesday of the protesters’ request to ban the city from removing them. The judge said the protesters have no First Amendment right “to seize and hold” the park where they are camping, and must abide by city regulations.

“The court order’s very specific that they’re breaking the regulations of the [Greenway] conservancy and they don’t have the right to be there,” Menino said Thursday morning.

Throughout the day Thursday, protesters packed up certain tents and belongings and had them hauled away. They were given an official notice of trespass Thursday evening that said they could not remain on Dewey Square past midnight.

The director of the Massachusetts ACLU, Carol Rose, said midnight was not enough time for people who want to leave. She also said police shouldn’t converge on protesters in the middle of the night.

“We can do better than that here in Boston,” Rose said. “We don’t have to do it just because they did it in places like Oakland and New York.”

Occupy Boston held a lengthy general assembly Thursday night on eviction. Among other measures, demonstrators agreed on “autonomous action,” meaning they’d have no common action if police moved in. A suggestion to clear the park and hold a dance party was not approved.

Though there was no dance party, a brass band played and protesters chanted up to and through midnight. WBUR’s Curt Nickisch, from Dewey Square, reported “sounds of Occupy Boston: ‘We are the 99 percent’ chants, ‘Rock Of Ages,’ ‘This Land is Your Land,’ a marching band, helicopters.”

Early Thursday, Menino said public interest was behind his decamp deadline.

“I’ve always said from day one … that we are not going to tolerate any violation of public safety and there are some concerns down there about public safety,” he said.

Protesters tweaked the mayor’s depiction.

“I believe that there are public safety concerns down here,” said demonstrator Ariel Oshinsky. “I believe that it is an excuse to clear our encampment and silence our message. I think if the city had wanted this to be a safe and sanitary encampment, there’s a lot they would have done differently.”

Menino did offer some support the Occupy movement, even as he set the midnight deadline.

“There is a reason for a movement like that, but they never came down with a specific issue or one specific reason and they changed every day and I think it’s important that we try to carry those issues forward, but not on Dewey Square,” Menino said.

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  • X-Ray

    Enforce the order; throw miscreants out. They are like children throwing a tantrum when they don’t get their way. And like a tantrum-throwing child, they offer no solution to source of their unhappiness.

    • 99percent

      Not true X-Ray.  Solutions that are offered are kind of a game-changer and the people in power that would be directly affected by such solutions don’t exactly find it in their interest to support those solutions.

      The Media is NOT going to report to you, X-Ray, anything that has a chance of unifying the 99% of Americans as one solid body politic.

      If you truly believe in behaving like an adult (which means being responsible for the knowledge you seek, the wisdom you know, and the understanding you have derived from such responsibility) then you would have had 2 months to find out the same thing Naomi Wolf found out.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/nov/25/shocking-truth-about-crackdown-occupy

      • 99percent

        I’m quoting 3 VERY CLEAR solutions directly from the article for the convenience of those who don’t research on their own:

        “The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”.
        Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online “What is it
        you want?” answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100
        answers. These were truly eye-opening.

        The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited
        was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which
        lets boundless sums enter the campaign process. No 2: reform the
        banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent
        item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era
        law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment
        banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for
        the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit
        that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the
        commercial and savings banks.

        No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known
        loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation
        affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are
        investors.

        When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the
        scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be
        having the [poop] kicked out of them.”

        • X-Ray

          I still maintain that OWS has no real goals. They only say make things better. One may just as soon say make bad behavior illegal. Does anyone really think that that would work or even is actionable. No, they don’t have any real, concrete suggestion. They are mainly disillusioned idealists with no real world experience. They have nothing to teach the 99%.

          • Benhar

            The Occupy message is that this society needs to address the fundamental imbalance and inequality that has infected our society in the last 30 years and has been accelerating recently. They don’t need to have solutions, they at least point the way to a question that too many in society have ignored for too long. With the Occupy movement, attention is finally being addressed to the issue. We’re ALL responsible for searching for, and supporting, solutions

          • http://twitter.com/tommydimino Tommy Dimino

            You are nothing but an ignorant fool, like many before you, on the wrong side of history.  I may not be an “occupier” but to categorize this group as homogenous in any way is ignorant.  If you think they have no message, you aren’t listening.   You are too busy spewing hate, parroting nonsense, and misrepresenting facts to understand what is going on in the world around you.  I suggest you close your mouth and open your ears, you may be amazed at what you learn.  No matter what you say, you are the 99% and this group of “disillusioned idealists” as you erroneously call them, will stand up for your rights, because all Americans deserve the opportunity for success.  Even an American as sad and ignorant as you.

  • Guest

    ‘Occupy’ Crime ‘Out Of Control,’ Boston Police Say. As of Wednesday (November 30), taxpayers had paid $723,000 in police overtime to patrol the tent city protest.  Read more: ttp://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/29892039/detail.html#ixzz1g3YJ7isM

    This is such a waste of tax payers money!

    A new national survey from Public Policy Polling (D) finds public opinion souring pretty quickly on the Occupy Wall Street movement. The poll asked: “Do you support or oppose the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement?” The result was only 33% support, to 45% opposed. In the previous poll from a month ago, when the protests were fairly new and public opinion had not yet had the chance to set in, the result was a very close 35% support, to 36% opposed.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/11/poll-public-opinion-turning-against-occupy-wall-street.php

    • Alexis

      Our wars are a greater waste to taxpayer money, to the tune of over 1 trillion dollars. Similarly, the corporate tax loopholes that so many big corporations enjoy are an even BIGGER waste to taxpayer money, because we, the working class, have to pick up the tab!  Wake up, this fight is not costing us money – it’s SAVING us money in the long run. 

      • beth

        So go to the White House and occupy the front lawn of the Nobel Peace prize winner and his jobs czar, General Electric Jeff Immelt and stop harassing and inconveniencing the working people. 

        • Bendweiser

          If I may be so bold… the true power in this country rests with We The People. Thats why us Occupants want to be everywhere, not just Washington DC. Marching on the capitol- its over in a day, and the next day its back to business as usual. Occupy Everywhere is a totally different response and thats why ITS WORKING. Wall St and corporate America may have their money in both major parties, but the writing is now on the wall. The public will not simply acquiesce to “austerity measures” that hurt regular people when the books could be balanced by increasing revenue from the wealthiest people and the most profitable corporations. i for one am not content with simply voting for the lesser of two evils. getting out in the streets is a different thing to do. and i’m open to suggestion… in fact all of Occupy is open to suggestion. if you have an idea, go to the GA and propose it. bring your friends

    • http://twitter.com/MeghanChiampa MeghanChiampa

      The police have only spent a small fraction of the budget for overtime pay. If you really care about your tax dollars, you should be down there supporting them. They are opposing tax dollars being used to bail out banks, which is in billions of dollars. Not several thousand. The Greenway is mostly privately funded and they have a budget for restoration in the millions. 

      • joy

        The big banks paid back their loans. You must be talking about the auto unions. 

        • Rosemary

          you must be talking about Fantasyland

          • mary

            Look it up. Try dealing with the facts.

          • 99percent

            lol facts!? here they are:

            Q: What loans did the banks pay back (some only partially)?
            A: TARP

            Q: Was TARP the only ‘loans’ the banks got?
            A: Hell no! How about the 7.7 trillion just uncovered by the Bloomberg case?  …not to mention all the other ways the banks shoveled more money into their coffers

  • Guest

    I agree with the original OWS NYC movement in September where they were focused on economic inequalities, banking system issues and special interest groups & politics.  However I disagree with this copy-cat, unfocused, hippie-poseur-wanna-be, anti-establishment, complain about everything, pot smoking tent-encampment movement that has surfaced in every other city.  If OWS wants to gain support they need to clean up literally and figuratively.  The drug abuse, rapes, assaults, and arrests that have occurred at the Occupy encampments have got to stop.  Get out of your tents, take a shower, clean up, get focused on these social issues and maybe people will take you seriously again!

    • Alexis

      If you had taken the time to spend but one hour at the encampments, you would realize how diverse the protesters are.  Sure, there are a few delinquents, as there are in ANY community or society.  Occupy doesn’t pretend to be perfect; in a lot of ways, it’s a mirror of working class society.  I urge you to go and take a look around at the next rally or protest: are they all “dirty hippies,” as they are so named by many?  You’ve got to be blind, or otherwise have never experienced an Occupy protest, to not realize that the majority of the protesters are impassioned and informed, and also not campers.  One last thing: do you honestly think that economic inequality comes with no baggage? There are so many other issues that are intertwined with that.  You can’t just fix one; you’ve got to fix them all. 

  • http://twitter.com/MeghanChiampa MeghanChiampa

    I was there last night. I am very proud of Boston, the police and the protesters for behaving civilly. I was there at 5pm then came back when I got out of work and was there until 2am. I’ve shared this around the internet, but this is something I shared last night: I just overheard a protester thank a cop saying, “thanks for all your help. I’ll miss you.” and the cop goes “you are welcome. We will miss you too, you know Stockholm syndrome.” then they both loled. They were being sincere. 

  • Rosemary

    Was happy to see the statue of  Mahatma Gandhi as one of those present.  Unless I am very much mistaken, this is the same figure who welcomed our wedding guests at  his home, The Peace Abbey, just a week ago in Sherborn, MA.
         By the way, The Peace Abbey is in dire need of financial rescue.  If just a few of these so-called “Wall Street” multimillionaires donated a small portion of their year-end bonuses, this beautiful, unique place could pay off debts and have an endowment to continue their amazing work.  
        If you’d like to get involved in saving The Peace Abbey – or just to learn about their mission, school, place, retreat house, library, work-to-date, etc. – visit http://www.peaceabbey.org, or call Dot Walsh, peace chaplain, 508-655-2143.  Thank you!!!! Rosemary

  • 99percent

    The division amongst the poor in this country is retarded.  How dumb are you people?  You making 100g’s a year and you think you got it made? lol lol lol  Can’t wait for the sthtf. Everyone in the so-called middle class is gonna have a BIG surprise.  If you didn’t get the message back in 2008, the next crisis will surely give you a reality smack.

    Reading these comments makes me wonder if these people actually read the other comments before posting or if it’s just government agents posting.

    UUhh, never posting again…completely useless!

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