Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: After Surviving Night, Police Raid Occupy Boston Early This Morning
The midnight deadline came and went last night. Occupy Boston had yet to see a major police presence threatening their encampment. Then the Boston Police Department superintendent announced there would be no raid tonight. The spirit and energy in Dewey Square escalated tremendously. Everyone who had come out to support Occupy Boston was celebrating. This is what each person had hoped for—to not be raided and to see the camp continue to exist as it has for months.
Some were so jubilant and empowered they took tents and moved them into the streets. They danced around the tents. The police asked the occupiers to remove the tents and put them back in the Dewey Square. That probably seemed odd. The police were expected to arrive and force occupiers to remove tents, not order the occupiers to get the tents back into the Square.
The celebration led to a few occupiers acting autonomously. They took a stand and remained in a tent in the middle of the street. The police told them they would be arrested if they didn’t leave. Two arrests were made.
Now, it is about midnight again. Occupy Boston is now considered by the city to be a group that is “trespassing.” They aren’t supposed to be camping but Mayor Menino and the police do not want a confrontation. The encampment is expressive and symbolic conduct central to the movement. A confrontation is inevitable at some point if the city is not going to permit a temporary encampment.
A full moon is shining bright in the sky over Dewey Square. The most dedicated in the camp are standing their ground on a Friday night and hoping their numbers remain strong so the city holds off, again, on plans to raid Occupy Boston.
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OCCUPY BOSTON LIVE STREAMS [*Jail solidarity now happening.]
11:18 PM Police appear to expect Occupy Boston to stay in the Boston Common and occupy. They do not announce any plans or have any plans prior to this post-eviction GA. Still, the Boston police crowd the occupiers with their presence and make many believe the police are going to arrest people for staying too late. All the occupiers ask is that they get to share their stories about what happened during the raid and what happened over the last 24 hours and what it is like now to be out of Dewey Square. There probably was a lot of heavy stuff said. Anyways, it all went down fine. Police made no arrests.
Tonight, the people of Boston have Dewey Square “back.” To do what? I guess it doesn’t matter what. Because even if nobody uses it at least they have it “back.” At least the status quo of people not building democracy and bringing attention to issues is maintained. Right, Boston?
More live blogging tomorrow.
6:34 PM Occupy Boston is now holding their post-eviction rally/vigil. They are at the Boston Common. During the vigil, they held a moment of silence for a veteran from Jamaica, who was arrested and is now being deported (photo via @MWeiser22)
3:15 PM FWIW – The Boston Police seem to be praising the occupiers (post-eviction). And whether true or not, the remarks from both occupiers and police reinforce my belief that any criticism should be directed toward “liberal” Mayor Thomas Menino, who felt he had to drive them out of Dewey Square.
1:37 PM Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who sent in his militarized police force to crack down on Occupy Portland in Oregon before, is asserting his right as a “liberal-progressive” to critique the Occupy movement and he thinks the movement has lost focus. He also says the movement is not “nimble” and any good movement has to be.
1:17 PM Now that Dewey Square, Bostonians can “take back” the land that Judge McIntyre considered to be “seized” and they can do what they did before Occupy Boston setup an encampment.
And, you ask, what am I referring to? Oh, the Nothing that Bostonians used to do. That’s what they can do now. So, it is good Menino cleared the Square out for Greenway. Now, Greenway’s space will be a happening public square with nobody in the space during the day.
1:16 PM How BPD obstructed press trying to cover the raid on Occupy Boston
1:00 PM Boston police spokeswoman tells press the occupiers were “very accommodating.”
12:08 PM BPD commissioner officially denies police looked at #s on Thursday night and decided to not raid Occupy Boston:
11:54 AM I have been featuring Christmas songs & other music each day, especially because I think music, art & culture are critical to keeping this movement alive. Here is a great soulful mistletune for you from The Staples Singers, who recorded many great socially and morally conscious songs while on the Stax label. I think Occupy Boston might want to chant the title of this song when rallying today.
“Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas?” Homeless people are now frightened and have no place to go. Mayor Menino cracked down on people engaged in expressive and symbolic speech that should be protected under the First Amendment. The city now probably claims this was an effort to restore and give the park back to Boston residents. To do what in the freezing cold of winter? Who will rush to use Dewey Square for other purposes now that Occupy Boston is gone?
11:53 AM Occupy Boston’s official statement on the eviction.
11:06 AM Meanwhile, in the world (and in countries where you can actually be murdered or killed protesting), twenty-five to fifty thousand people are protesting Vladimir Putin after “disputed” (rigged) parliamentary elections. Follow “Occupy Russia” at The Guardian‘s live blog.
Police move in to clear Occupy Seoul in Korea. University students stage a sit-in in front of the Korea Stock Exchange Center.
10:55 AM Ustream covering jail solidarity action (via sharksocks)
10:30 AM For those of you who fell asleep, here is a rundown of what happened and where the situation is at right now:
[Per the @Occupy_Boston Twitter feed] 5:00 AM, raid is going to happen…Call is put out for lawyers and legal observers to get down to Dewey Square. It is also announced that there are no livestreamers in the camp and occupiers will need to document…All media are removed from Dewey Square, including #OccupyBoston livestreamers…A veteran stands his ground: “I took an oath to defend the constitution and here I am”…Occupiers waiting to be arrested sing “Solidarity Forever”…First group arrest is taken to E18. When that fills, it is reported the remaining arrestees will go to E5…A protester yells about a broken wrist…Officers cover up or do not wear badges…A legal observer is arrested…
Street medics are arrested…Livestreamer is arrested. That stream ends. Another livestreamer is on site, further from GA area…MBTA [Boston train service] opens as raid is unfolding…BPD shine flashlights into video cameras obstructing filming…By about 6:30 there are at least 30 who have been arrested…7 male prisoners go to District 4 and females go to District 6…Any more male arrests go to B2, females continue to go to District 6…LRAD is spotted…Dewey Square is completely barricaded. All protesters have been cleared and arrested. Bulldozers move in to clear tents…Report from the inside of dirty cells, especially the toilets…NLG mobilizes for prisoners…The arrestees are charged with trespassing…Group of Occupy Boston demonstrators engage in sit-in at Atlantic Ave and Constitution, chant “Let them go! Arrest the CEOs!…Protest continues outside South Station…Plan announced to meet at 7 pm at the Boston Common Band Stand for a General Assembly…Jail solidarity actions unfold
10:10 AM Heartwrenching tweets on the homeless. Reports indicate they were crying as police raided the camp.
10:05 AM Group kicked out of South Station, the train/bus station. They had been allowed to be in there without tickets for months just like they were not removed from Dewey Square for months.
10:02 AM Waiting to get arrested the occupiers were singing:
10:00 AM How press was handled:
9:51 AM Photo of the the LRAD Boston police had on the scene (via @axb21):
9:45 AM There was a men’s bus and a women’s bus according to @caulkthewagon
Update via Scarecrow (about 8:50 AM ET) Just after 5: 00 a.m. ET, dozens of police and vans rolled up to Dewey Square to evict the remaining occupiers. See comments from eyewitness/occupiers starting at comment 20 below. According to other reports, some of the occupiers sat and linked arms, but, per reports, about 46 were arrested. The camp is now dismantled. Protestors are now gathering outside the city court house awaiting word this morning on the release of those arrested. Another reports says a GA is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. tonight on the Boston Commons. Ed.)
4:41 AM Safe to say, if Occupy Boston is evicted now, they will be cleared out by 6 or 7 am. This means one can say Occupy Boston held their ground in Dewey Square and made it a second night.
4:30 AM There is a lot of chatter about police coming soon. One of the occupiers, whom many may know from Twitter as @caulkthewagon, had her phone taken. She was punched. They got it back and suspect a provocateur tried to take it. Police have been sighted on the Federal Reserve building that looms over Occupy Boston adjusting a camera to get better shots. A lady was kind enough to bring the camp some coffee. Other than that, there really isn’t anything more worth reporting
Occupy Boston is still standing (photo via @YDT10)
And, pardon the interruption but here’s a fantastic poster for the planned West Coast port shutdown action coming up on December 12 (via @portnaught)
2:09 AM 4 am the police will move in and clear out the camp? 300 extra officers stayed on through the shift change at 11:45 pm? That is the rumor going around. Here is another stream to watch if you’re up. Going to grab an hour or two of sleep here and be back up for any action around 4 am. I’ll be doing this while Occupy Boston plays Twister.
2:00 AM Police aren’t staging anywhere yet. A theory circulating that BPD is waiting for the bars to close. On the scanner, a police officer told headquarters the camp was not a problem yet. Who knows what is going on? BPD as we are seeing doesn’t handle protest like other cities. They are very patient. BPD could come back tomorrow night and try to force occupiers out. The camp cannot keep going if food is not allowed, if power is shut off, if building materials are not allowed, if tents are no longer allowed to be brought into the Square and if people are not allowed to bring more personal items to keep in the square.
Mayor Menino and BPD can just make the occupiers miserable. Additionally, the longer they stay, the more the press will paint what Occupy Boston is doing as something that is unwelcome. The foundation will be laid down for actually sending in police the way police were sent in to clear a second encampment in October.
1:53 AM Press check:
Boston Globe headline reads: “Curtain falling on Occupy protest” – a photo in the article shows BPD commissioner Edward F. Davis saying, “Slowly, we will clear the place out.”
1:38 AM In the past hour and a half —
And BPD is not allowing food to enter Dewey Square. There are occupiers off site waiting to swarm (I think) when police arrive.
12:01 AM Midnight deadline (?) passes a second time.
Previous updates from Friday, December 9
11:55 PM Dump trucks there.
11:45 PM Spirits high. Still going strong.
11:30 PM BPD asks drum circle to stop drumming (I don’t know. If I was on a police force that was about to raid somewhere, would I tell people in that location to keep it down? So, maybe a sign there will be no raid?) (Photo via @jlatcheson)
11:25 PM Kate L sends out this photo of Dewey Square
10:41 PM Motorcycle cops spotted a street over from Dewey Square in Boston
10:35 PM Amazing story of the night Occupy Boston survived Mayor Menino’s midnight deadline from a woman who went down there prepared to get arrested.
As we await the imminent eviction (we thought it was imminent last night but this time police won’t back off),
Boston Globe reports on the state of the occupation the day after the midnight deadline. Camp and number of occupiers not surprisingly smaller. Of course, the die-hards, the ones that keep the energy in the camp, still there and ready to hold their ground when police arrive.