Occupy Boston: massive police presence swoops in, makes arrests

Woke up this morning at 5:30 am, went immediately for news of Occupy Bloomington, and discovered on their fb page that Boston police were arresting protestors there under cover of darkness. Probing further, I discovered that Boston occupiers had decided to occupy a second site which had been recently landscaped, and had been warned in several ways not to go there — or else. Or else happened. (In contrast, I read somewhere that D.C. occupiers, under a similar scenario, had “declined arrest” and returned to their main encampment.) Here’s the report from occupyboston.com. Note that Veterans for Peace, there to protect the protestors, were pushed to the ground, their flags trampled, and arrested.

I wonder how much networking is going on across the country among mayors to seek a common approach to the occupation movement. Was Boston a test case? Have other occupations not been allowed to camp, or to have a second camp? If so, how many, and where?

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 Ursula Levelt, who serves on the steering committee 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.

“We will occupy. We are the 99 percent and we are no longer silent.”

Occupy Boston is the beginning of an ongoing discussion about reforming Wall Street and removing special interests from government. The continuing occupation of Dewey Square (outside South Station) is just one of more than 120 separate Occupy encampments in cities across the nation and a symbol for “Occupiers” everywhere who support real and lasting change. Video: http://youtu.be/ZpttXetMX78.
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