Mayor Thomas Menino issued a statement earlier today ordering Occupy Boston to leave Dewey Square by midnight. The order came a day after Judge Frances McIntyre ruled in favor of the city, denied Occupy Boston’s motion for a preliminary injunction and vacated a temporary restraining order that had been protecting Occupy Boston from a raid.
Greenway Conservancy and the city have been waiting for this moment and they are moving before the legal team has any opportunity to regroup and make another move that would prolong the occupation. The judge’s ruling means they can properly justify the eviction. The judge described what Occupy Boston is doing as “seizing” the land for their protest. The city can spin this raid as taking it back and returning the park to the public.
Throughout the day the occupation has been discussing what to do at midnight. The General Assembly appears to have come to a consensus on the fact that there will be a diversity of tactics employed at midnight. There will be dancing. There will be people locking arms. There will be obvious scenes of civil disobedience with people holding their ground in the Square against police. Most importantly, there will be hundreds of there watching in solidarity. They also will not be leaving behind any historical items they want to preserve.
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OCCUPY BOSTON LIVE STREAM [*Raid imminent]
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.
10:13 PM Tent monster at Occupy Melbourne shows some holiday spirit (via @Asher_Wolf)
9:08 PM 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.
6:04 PM This happened hours ago at Occupy Boston
Also, the power was shut off to the Square then it was turned back on. The occupation, unlike Occupy Wall Street, has been lucky in that Greenway Conservancy has donated power to Occupy Boston since Day 1. They have not turned the power off so that occupiers absolutely had to find generators for power.
3:15 PM RT’s Lucy Kafanov tweets this photo of the Occupy DC library. Impressive.
2:36 PM Important article from Susie Cagle on how Oakland occupiers that have been arrested face “legal limbo”
2:20 PM Occupy Educated went up a few days ago. If you haven’t visited this new website to see what this project is all about, it is a next phase for those that have been involved with the OWS Library.
2:14 PM In case you missed it, Mayor Bloomberg became agitated this morning when questioned about how the NYPD treated the press at the OWS raid:
We didn’t keep anybody from reporting, you just had to stand to the side. You don’t have a right as a press person to stand in the way just in the interest of getting the story…the police [showed] amazing restraint. This is the greatest police department in the world. The number of times police fire their weapons here is so much less than any other police department.
Gothamist adds context to these remarks, pointing out that standing off to the “side” actually meant being about 2 blocks away from what was happening. Plus, reporters and a city councilman were arrested. Reporters and a city councilman were victims of violence. (Not to mention, occupiers themselves experienced police brutality, something Bloomberg has zero concern about.)
2:10 PM Warren Leight, a “Law and Order” producer, sent some tweets on OWS crashing the set last night. He says, “Saddened by last night’s events. We understand OWS emotions run high and also protestors’ fear of having their images and history co-opted by corporate media—the irony here is the scene we couldn’t shoot portrayed OWS in a sympathetic light and harassing night shift Production Assistants. Those are not images of OWS we wanted our audience to see. Let’s move forward. Peace.”
10:06 AM At midnight (scroll down for details on how this developed), Occupy Wall Street went to a “Law & Order: SVU” set and occupied a fake Zuccotti Park camp in Foley Square. What unfolded was incredibly surreal. It was a revolutionary guerrilla nonviolent action that Adbusters and the Yes Men might have planned. Except, the occupiers weren’t really protesting “Law & Order: SVU” (though in retrospect they could have because the story line for the episode will probably revolve around serial rapist living at the OWS camp). That made what was happening even more subversive. And quite frankly one wonders if Monty Python would have written a skit about Occupy Wall Street, would it have been like this?
Heard during the moment was, “Is this a set or a real action?” To police: “Are these your barricades or part of the set?”
There was no shoot going on when occupiers arrived. The shoot was planned for later in the morning.
10:02 AM Police arrested Occupy Phoenix participants for “urban camping.” Tents were taken down, confiscated. There is no exact number of arrests in news reports but one report says “several” arrested. Occupy Phoenix’s camp had been there for fifty-four days.
9:53 AM Occupy Boston is still standing. As the occupation wrote on their website, “Good morning! We’re still here!”
When I stopped blogging, the occupiers were still out in the street with tents. Police were asking them to remove the tents. Occupy Boston mostly wanted everyone to come back to Dewey Square. In fact, the BPD superintendent was seen picking up tents and placing them in the Square. But, a handful of occupiers wanted to take, “Who’s streets? Our streets!” literally and remain so that police could not re-open traffic. There really was no political point to the action. What they were doing was akin to what sports fans do after their team wins a championship.
The police moved in and two protestors were arrested. At least one tent or more was confiscated/destroyed. But, again, these arrests were not the result of police cracking down on Occupy Boston.
In celebration of the spirit of Occupy Boston (and the wider Occupy movement), here’s a classic tune:
2:25 AM Mostly convinced that Occupy Boston will be okay at least until 4 am. Pretty convinced they will make it to 6 am or 7 am. After that, if they are still there, city will wait and evict them later in the night on Friday. This will all happen again. There will be dancing and partying. Perhaps there won’t be as many people down at Dewey Square and maybe that is why BPD is postponing plans to clear out occupiers.
Sleeping now. I will be back around 8 am ET to see how Occupy Boston (and Occupy Phoenix, which is now being raided) fared.
2:24 AM Alec Baldwin, supporter of Occupy Wall Street, congratulates Occupy Boston:
2:14 AM Tents are in the streets. Police want to move them off of Atlantic Ave and open the street to traffic. Occupiers are partying and won’t stop until they are done celebrating or convinced there will actually be no raid. A number likely suspect a raid could still happen before the night is over.
2:13 AM Via @GarrettQuinn – Here is a photo that shows Occupy Boston celebrating a victory:
1:42 AM BPD “spokesperson” who just spoke to press essentially says Menino’s midnight deadline meant Occupy Boston would now be trespassing on Dewey Square. That doesn’t necessarily mean the police were ordered to clear them out then. It just means they were trespassing. There are a number of ways to handle that. (Citations?)
In any case, press wonder what it means to have a deadline and not hold to it. One another member of media says what are your hopes that those who don’t have tents just go home and then you can do your job (or something like that). Media came out for a showdown tonight and so far doesn’t look like they’ll be running any forceful eviction on the 6 am news.
1:37 AM A tent now is moved on to Atlantic Avenue. Occupiers at Occupy Boston chant, “Out of the square and into the streets!” So you know, this is the point where it becomes ever so clear BPD is not the NYPD. NYPD would not tolerate this.
1:26 AM Riot police are said to be gathered by South Station right by Dewey Square. The rumor is the eviction will come at 4 am. The midnight deadline now is a kind of fake out. The announcement that there will be no clearing of the camp tonight is a ploy to get non-permanent occupiers/supporters to go home.
1:25 AM Fake Zuccotti after the raid (Via @Newyorkist)
1:14 AM Big announcement: Boston Police superintendent announces that police will not be clearing Dewey Square tonight. The energy in the camp picks up significantly.
1:11 AM Police moving in on Occupy Boston. There are many on Atlantic Ave. The crowd is growing.
12:58 AM This is like the best thing ever. Occupy Wall Street taking over “Law & Order” fake Zuccotti Park set. Occupy writer Jeff Sharlet on this surreal moment. (Is this the Monty Python treatment of Occupy Wall Street?)
12:45 AM Power is about to be cut to Dewey Square. Police are closing in. Word that Congress and Pearl are being blocked.
Back at fake Zuccotti, police announced over a bullhorn that the permit has been rescinded. But someone is saying that Comcast-NBC has not had the permit rescinded. The NYPD is being given permission to trespass and arrest occupiers that have moved on to this set.
Arrests are about to be made. Also, livestream was stuck on the perimeter and not allowed to move back on to the set.
12:26 AM Veterans for Peace stand tall with Occupy Boston
12:19 AM Meanwhile, as we wait for police to move in (or not), Occupy Wall Street is occupying the “Law & Order” set, where a fake Zuccotti Park set has been setup in Foley Square. Police commander was woken up and sent down to the square when it was found out they were coming down to “occupy.” This was not for tonight. The occupiers are not supposed to be there at this mock-upation. The police are now having “Law & Order” tear down the set that way they can get occupiers to go home. Occupy Wall Street has probably cost “Law & Order” a good sum of money.
Watch as police make the situation more chaotic than it is already. A police officer already put his hands on the woman livestreaming.
12:06 AM Helicopters are now being spotted above
12:02 AM The scene now
12:01 AM Midnight deadline passes.
Previous updates from Thursday, December 8
11:58 PM Gandhi’s glasses are found. And it is the occupiers hope that police “arrest” Gandhi.
11:55 PM An occupier mic-checks Emma Goldman quote: “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.” Then shouts in the spirit of Emma Goldman let’s dance.
11:54 PM MyFoxBoston has a camera taking aerial shots of Occupy Boston
11:50 PM Gandhi is going to be next to the media tent and if damaged during the eviction the owner agrees to fix Gandhi. (And, Gandhi lost his glasses. They are trying to figure out where they fell off.)
11:44 PM Those willing to get arrested head to the middle of the Square to plan their action, go over guidelines for nonviolent civil disobedience.
11:18 PM Legal observers take a group photo (via @caulkthewagon)
11:12 PM 45 minutes til midnight deadline for Occupy Boston. Some occupiers are voluntarily taking down tents. This has been happening all day. Park is being cleaned too with trash being put in dump truck
9:36 PM A rundown of Occupy Boston’s final GA before eviction: Safety working group proposes clearing the square and having a dance party…Info tent will be open til 10 pm with information from ACLU on “rights as arrestees”…Plan to meet at 8 am after eviction for some kind of action…Members of many faiths are there showing solidarity…NLG lawyer says even if an appeal had been filed today it would not have prevented a raid (no appeal was filed)…Negotiations with city attorneys failed to convince them to give Occupy Boston more time…Occupy Boston library is preparing for next phase of the occupation…Occupy Harvard present…Occupiers told not to have a knife or blade because if committing civil disobedience you could be charged with a felony…
Reasoning behind possible dance party: dancing shows the police’s only power is they have weapons. We have creativity. Let’s not give them the fight they’re looking for…Judge said we cause violence. Dancing demonstrates a lot of nonviolence…Working on establishing consensus around cleaning all of the area before eviction…
9:28 PM Occupy Austin informs me in a march on Chase Bank one occupier was arrested. There were about 50 people in the march. It was peaceful. The arrest appears to have happened as the occupier tried to do crowd control. Police swept the occupier up.
8:52 PM Arrests at Occupy Amsterdam earlier after being ordered to clear out.
7:57 PM Occupiers roll out “human red carpet” at Chamber of Commerce Party
7:21 PM One of the best Twitter notifications you will ever read in your inbox: “Tent Monster (@tentmonster) is no following you on Twitter!” As I tweeted, I hope someone in the Occupy movement pays homage to ’50s drive-in movies and makes a video featuring the Tent Monster.
7:05 PM Former Philly police captain Ray Lewis is warned by the police and his union to not protest in his police uniform. Lewis demonstrated with Occupy Wall Street days after the camp was evicted in November.
7:04 PM The scene at Occupy Boston (via @TheOther99):
6:48 PM Jason Leopold suggests citizens “Occupy the Police State”
6:40 PM Occupy Boston handed “trespassing notices”
6:39 PM The impending eviction of Occupy Boston – sort of a farewell from me on Occupy Boston but I know the occupation is going nowhere. They may be moved out of Dewey Square but the “occupation” of Boston will press on.