Occupy Boston is Raided at 5am! A recap. [Updated]

“Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power” – Benito Mussolini.

“We would hate our city to ever be associated with anti-corporate protests”- Boston Mayor Tom Menino.

“The first thing I heard was the sound of a knife ripping through a tent” -Occupy Boston Protestor.

After thousands prevented the eviction of Occupy Boston from Dewey Square on Thursday, Mayor Tom Menino joined the national call by all Mayors to trample upon the constitution.

Today! At the Boston Commons Band Stand.

Multi-faith service at 6p

Student GA at 6p

Occupy Boston General Assembly at 7p

Here is my recap of the events surrounding the raid. Thanks to all who provided detailed first hand accounts of these activities.

Arrests and Camp Destruction

This morning, December 10th at 5 AM the Boston Police Department raided Occupy Boston and forcibly evicted them from Dewey Square.

At least fourty-six were reportedly arrested during the raid, including one person who was documenting the raid via livestream. All medics at Occupy Boston were arrested.  One protestor was heard screaming about a broken wrist. At least two NLG representatives were arrested, reportedly immediately once they began asking for badge numbers.

Dewey Square has been barricaded and bulldozers were brought in to destroy the remaining camp.

Greenway officials are grateful for how well Occupy Boston maintained the park.  There is no significant damage, no trees have been damaged and about the lawn an official said, “I didn’t really like that lawn…this gives a chance to put in something better.”

Solidarity and Sadness

As the police began arrests, the Occupiers sang “Solidarity Forever.”

Meanwhile, numerous sad stories came to light.  The story of the homeless is one of the most devastating.  The homeless are the most vulnerable of all the 99% and have been an important part of the physical camp.  This movement and the Dewey Square camp has often been the first sense of love that these people have received in a long time.  Many of the homeless were crying during the raid.

These tweets from Robin about the homeless bring a sad reality to the problems in our society and anyone with a heart weeps with them.

I’ll note, the Boston Shelters do NOT accept couples.  So homeless couples (of which OB has) cannot go to shelters.

In addition, some of the police officers also had difficulty with the raid, showing there are members in blue who actually care about the community.  A Female officer was seen breaking down during the raid.  She was weeping openly and sobbed, “They’re human. They’re human. They’re human. They’re human.”

Robin reveals the sense of shame the officers have in executing this raid when she reveals that, “No officer who has made eye contact with me has been able to maintain it as long as me. Not a one.”

Media

The mainstream media continues to be clueless drones who have no understanding of journalism.  Channel 7 claimed “protesting” as one of the offenses.  Protesting itself is obviously not against the law.  Protestors were actually charged with trespassing and/or disorderly conduct.  News Center 5 claimed the eviction is the “end of the Occupy Boston protest”, oblivious to the difference between a camp and a movement. WBUR claimed protestors were “resisting arrest” on air, while in fact they were willingly being arrested.

In a continuation of the national trend to restrict press coverage, all media were removed from Dewey Square, including Livestreamers. BPD shined flashlights into the camera lenses of those filming to prevent documentation of the raid.  Media were restricted to pre-designed locations where BPD purposefully blocked view of the camp and raid with large police wagons.

Boston Police Department

Boston Police officers were seen with badges numbers covered with black tape or not wearing badges at all. [UPDATE: We are thrilled to learn that badges were not covered up. The black line is in tribute to a fallen officer and we lend our support and our thoughts to this well deserved remembrance.]

BPD brought in the LRAD (the 1000X model), a device meant to inflict pain to induce compliance (a more palatable pain compliance technique than beating people with batons, but it is only a visual change.)

The police threw away one person’s epi-pen.

One camp member, Noah, was apparently lifted off the ground by his zipties and was screaming in pain while the police prevented all legal observation of this interaction.

A man named Phil, who has been expected as an official plant and obvious provocateur, was seen gathering his possessions neatly and able to exit the entire process without even being approached once.

There is no evidence that Mayor Menino called Phil directly to thank him for his efforts in assisting the Mayor’s campaign to destroy the Occupy Movement.  Nor is there any evidence that his time is being reimbursed by Bank of America, JP Morgan, or Goldman Sachs. Whether he walked across the street to his Fed office is pure rumour and completely unfounded. Snark disengaged.  

25 people in South Station Terminal without tickets were forced to leave, with claims that the terminal is private property.

It should be noted that BPD Commissioner Ed Davis has been consistently accessible to Occupy Boston, keeping communication open throughout, unlike Mayor Menino who has kept himself shielded from all accountability and refused all communication channels.

Finally

Thanks to Robin, John, Brett, Laurie and Kevin for much of the details. Any mistakes are entirely mine.

And One Year Ago Today:

It is exactly one year since the British Parliament Square Kettle, where 30,000 British youths protested austerity led draconian cuts to education. The activity was brutally cracked down and journalist Laurie Penny concluded with the following statement:

When I drop down from the traffic lights, my arms and back aching from being crushed earlier, I find myself at the front of the riot line, being shoved between two shields. Fighting for breath, I am shoved roughly through the line by two police officers; twisting my neck, I see a young woman in a white bobble hat pinned between the shields and the crowd, screaming as the batons come down on her head once, twice, and her spectacles are wrenched from her face. Her friend is shrieking, “please don’t crush us, we can’t move back, there’s no room!” She is pushed through the line, too, and the police refuse to find her a medic. “I’ve never been on a protest before, I’m a completely peaceful person — I’m doing my PhD on Virginia Woolf,” she pants, her face streaked with tears of anger. “My name is Helen Tyson, and I’m disgusted, utterly disgusted by the police today.” We cannot speak any more, because a huge officer in full armour taps me on the shoulder and orders me to leave. When I explain that I am a member of the press and I’d like to observe what’s happening, he tells me that this is a “sterile area”, and I am dragged away by my arms and legs and dumped by Horse Guards Parade.

A sterile area: that’s what the heart of our democracy has become, a searing wound of rage and retribution cauterised by armoured and merciless agents of the state.

Advertisements

7 comments on “Occupy Boston is Raided at 5am! A recap. [Updated]

  1. Kellyann says:

    I find the story of the female police officer especially chilling because of what it says about police culture. My heart and my prayers go out to you in Boston.

    • Harvard Alum says:

      Occupy Harvard should keep their eyes open. They might be next. Oh wait… Occupy Harvard Summer Camp can’t be evicted.

  2. Ed Hamilton says:

    This figures to clean the system. Please consider action.
    Condemn venal journalism for severely fooling the people
    http://occupywallst.org/forum/condemn-venal-journalism-for-severely-fooling-the-/

  3. Steve says:

    I was there.. and yes it was pretty jarring ..but it could have been far worse …I mean,, ARE these things supposed to end like a song??
    I was awed and inspired as were most of us by the sturdy resolve and courage of the physical occupier,s but the camp was not sustaineable…Let us thrive and not just survive!

  4. Stan Lawrence says:

    The eviction of Occupy Boston from Dewey Sqaure was a setback to our movement. Inevitable? Perhaps. Given the pattern set over the last two weeks across the country, it is clear that a point had been reached where the physical presense of Occupy had become a rallying cry for far greater numbers of people than ever actually passed through the Square and a greater embarrassement to the powers that be then the potential fall out from the eviction -especially with the mainstream media falling dutifully into place.

    While the city of Boston and the BPD may have learned the lessons from the eviction battles in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles (Occupy LA Eviction: Determined Resistance Up Against Deceit and Repression– http://rwor.org/a/252/occupy_la_eviction-en.html ). It appears that some in our movement have not. To extoll the BPD for their considerate handling of demonstrators seems like praising the priest or prison guard for their compassion as they escort a prisoner to the execution.

    However Occupy is not a prisoner without recourse. The exhilerating power and passion generated by Occupy has breathed fresh air into the political life of the country. The challenge now is to fiugure out how to proceed. It should be fun.

  5. […] can’t evict an idea.” A member of Occupy Harvard provides a recap of the raid here, noting that it occurs on the one-year anniversary of the mass kettling of student protesters in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s