Some 100 people—around 65 men and 35 women—taking part in an Occupy Boston protest were arrested in the wee hours of Tuesday morning after they refused to leave a newly groomed section of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway near Dewey Square, according to the BBC’s coverage of the action from across the Atlantic.
From a closer vantage point, the Occupy Boston website posted video, requests for bail money and an official statement about Tuesday’s arrests, which movement representatives characterized as a disproportionately forceful attack involving police in riot gear bearing down not just on protesters but also street medics and at least one legal observer. “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,” Occupy Boston said.
Meanwhile, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino did a good job of taking both sides, claiming that he sympathized with the fledgling movement within certain limits: “I agree with them on the issues,” he told Boston.com later Tuesday. “Foreclosure. Corporate greed. These are issues I’ve been working on my entire career. But you can’t tie up a city.”
Video of the confrontation between demonstrators and Boston police follows the excerpt below. —KA
Boston police say they had warned around 1,000 protesters to stay in Dewey Square and a small, nearby strip of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway a few hours after they occupied the main Greenway area.
In response to the warning, Occupy Boston released a statement calling for “any and all people to join the occupation as soon as possible.”
They said: “Occupiers have worked tirelessly to maintain a positive working relationship with city officials. Today’s threats by the Boston Police Department represent a sudden shift away from that dialogue.”
Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll told reporters the warning had been issued because the greenway had recently undergone an expensive renovation project.