When I got to Boston yesterday it wasn’t long before I found that tensions from arrests and altercations during a peaceful march over the Charlestown bridge had been brought back to base camp in Dewey Square, as well as having poured out and over into the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
The word had been passed on down from high that BOTH camps would be forcefully disbanded by nightfall by the BPD.
Immediate GA’s, in both camps were held to discuss staying in the new encampment, as well, or breaking down and going back to the full and overcrowded Dewey Square.
By about 9 o’clock word from the BPD was given that the demonstrators would have until midnight to vacate the park.
Passionately the group continued to discussed the pro’s and cons of straining the police/demonstrators relations, dividing the numbers, as well as space concerns at the original camp (there wasn’t any left) and safety, for several hours, though in the end consensus was reached to remain occupied in both locations, as well as to form human chains which would link around the two camps respectively.
By 12:30 a chant went up from the crowd of,
“We’re still here!”
Starting at about 1:00 AM by 1:30 the police had fully encircled the new camp, then began closing in on it slowly, to put the demonstration to an end with force.
A call went out that the the line of police in the front of the demonstration was a diversion, and that the back area of the green way was were the police were lining up the wagons. At this time the United Veterans for Peace circled round the arm linked protestors, to for a wall at the foot path entrance at the rear of the park.
The veterans for peace were seized and some scattered like bowling pins by tactical cops, one of which kicked me square in the back during the chaos.
Reports of over 100 arrests, including arrests of legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild, (the people seen in green hats in pictures and videos) were reported.
A march in solidarity with the arrested dispatched autonomously to the A1 jail following about 30 minutes after the police had left; the original encampment was left unscathed.
Images and official release from occupy Boston, at link below,
AN official release from Occupy Boston has been posted on their site, reproduced in it’s entirety below,….
Boston Police Brutally Assault Occupy Boston
At 1:30 this morning hundreds of police in full riot gear brutally attacked Occupy Boston, which had peacefully gathered on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Boston Police Department made no distinction between protesters, medics, or legal observers, arresting legal observer Urszula Masny-Latos, who serves as the Executive Director for the National Lawyers Guild, as well as four medics attempting to care for the injured.
Earlier in the day, an estimated ten thousand union members, students, veterans, families, men, and women of all ages marched from the Boston Common to Dewey Square, and then to the North Washington Bridge to demand economic reform on Wall Street and the end of special interest influence in Washington.
Following this massive outpouring of public support, dozens of police vans descended on the Greenway, with batons drawn, assaulting protesters and arresting more than one-hundred people. Members of Veterans for Peace carrying American flags were pushed to the ground and their flags trampled as the police hauled them away.
Following the raid, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis made no mention of veterans, organized labor, students, or families, nor did he issue an apology for his department’s aggressive tactics. Since the beginning of its occupation, Occupy Boston has worked tirelessly and successfully to maintain a positive working relationship with city officials. Today’s reprehensible attack by the Boston Police Department against a movement that enjoys the broad support of the American people represents a sad and disturbing shift away from dialogue and towards violent repression.
Despite the city’s attempt to silence us, Occupy Boston remains, and bears no ill-will towards the men and women of the Boston Police Department who were simply following orders. We hope that someday the peaceful pursuit of economic justice will not provoke the beating of elderly veterans and the arrest of medics and legal observers. We encourage everyone who continues to feel as strongly as we do about limiting the influence of Wall Street on our democracy to join us tomorrow, and in the future, down in Dewey Square.