There was a mass arrest at Occupy Boston last night:
Boston police moved in and began arresting scores of Occupy Boston protesters who refused to leave a large part of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway early this morning.
At 1:20 a.m., the first riot police officers lined up on Atlantic Avenue. Minutes later, dozens of sheriff vans and police wagons arrived and over 200 officers in uniforms and riot gear surrounded the Greenway.
Police Superintendent William Evans and Commissioner Edward F. Davis watched from across the street. Evans gave the crowd two minutes to disperse from the park, warning that they would be locked up if they did not comply.
The crowd of protesters, energized by the sudden appearance of the Boston and Transit police officers, chanted, ‘‘The people united will never be defeated,’’ “This is a peaceful protest,” and “the whole world is watching.’’
About 10 minutes later, the first officers entered the park and surrounded the group. Evans, using a loudspeaker, gave one more warning and then each protester was individually put on his or her stomach, cable-tied, and dragged off as others tore down tents and arrested and detained people on the fringe of the park.
Occupy Boston is now faced with a new problem for an OWS group: raising money for bail. This is because these arrests are going beyond the catch and release pattern of police actions at OWS events thus far. Several protesters are being formally charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace.
This morning, Boston Mayor Tom Menino commented on the arrests:
“I sympathize with their issues, some of those issues we really have to look at in America, but when it comes to civil disobedience, I will not tolerate civil disobedience in the city of Boston,” Mayor Menino said.
Given the history of Boston, it should be pointed out that Menino was not being ironic.