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Boston Police Release Statement on Occupy Boston – Charlestown, MA Patch

Editor’s note: Following the arrest of 141 protesters on the Rose Kennedy Greenway just after midnight on Tuesday, the Boston Police released the following statement.

Since October 1, 2011 the Boston Police Department has been working closely with the leadership of Occupy Boston to accommodate their request for peaceful demonstration. The City of Boston, at the request of the organizers, designated the area of Dewey Square on the Greenway where protestors have been provided the opportunity to create an encampment and protest peacefully.

On October 10, 2011, protestors expanded the camp site to a second location that had not been previously approved. Several reasons required police to request that protestors return to the original agreed upon site.

Occupying a second area of the Greenway near Pearl Street created an increased public safety concern.

The site of the 2nd encampment on the Greenway (near Pearl Street) had recently undergone a costly renovation by the Greenway Conservancy to improve the green space. The protestors’ presence on that space created a concern for potential property damage.

The attempt of the protestors to occupy the Washington Street Bridge was executed without discussion and prior agreement with police. That action and breakdown of communication created a scenario which became a serious public safety hazard and compromised the BPD’s ability to ensure public order and a safe environment.

Boston Police communicated to protestors the request to vacate the second encampment and return to the original site numerous times throughout the evening via Twitter, flyers and in person. The required police action resulted in the arrest of 141 individuals who were charged with Unlawful Assembly or Trespassing. Some time after 1:00am on 10/11/11, Boston Police declared ‘Unlawful Assembly’ in the area of the second site.

As a result of an existing city ordinance that forbids sleeping in a city park between 11:00pm and 7:00am, officers had the authority to arrest for Trespassing and Unlawful Assembly.

Although our officers faced active resistance from protestors including being spit on, our officers maintained a respectful, professional and proportional posture. If any individual experienced a concern about their interaction with an officer that individual is encourage to come forward and report that information to the department. At this time, we have not received any such complaints.

The Boston Police Department is committed to protecting one’s right of peaceful protest. The Boston Police Department is also committed to ensure everyone’s safety. We continue to encourage the leadership of Occupy Boston to maintain an open dialogue with authorities in the spirit of coordination and cooperation.

via Boston Police Release Statement on Occupy Boston – Charlestown, MA Patch.

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Vets try protecting OWS Boston from police beatings

Update: Approximately 2:00 a.m.

The police Commissioner was heard saying there were 100 arrests at the Boston North Encampment for �unlawful assembly and criminal trespassing.

The camp appears to be gone.

One of the remaining protesters was heard saying, “They can destroy the camp but they cannot destroy the movement.”

The remaining small number of protesters have been chanting something new, “March to jail.”

via Breaking News: Vets try protecting OWS Boston from police beatings (video) – National Human Rights | Examiner.com.

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Cops Beat Veterans in Boston and City Hall Blackmails OccupyDallas

Occupy Wall Street first struck me as a joke. Here were all these twenty somethings in their Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters complaining about corporate greed in the middle of the work week while taking photos with their $1000 cameras and their $300 iPhones.Their gatherings pulled cops away from other areas and terrible things happened like a series of random attacks on women in the subway. It’s so very easy to admonish these people as privileged hipster kids and dislike them for how they inconvenience the cities they protest in.

But then the cops in New York started macing people. And as much as we might WANT to mace a hipster it’s still assault and unwarranted and not cool.

Since that assault via spicy face spray the movement has sort of exploded. Mainstream media is covering it (though it’s with a sense of bewilderment) and new Occupy protests have sprouted up all over the country.

Part of the movement is occupying public parks long-term. In some locations there are no rules governing the occupation of a public space. In other places permits are required to occupy these parks.

via Cops Beat Veterans in Boston and City Hall Blackmails OccupyDallas.

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Police Arrest Protesters, Demolish Camp in Financial Zone – Jamaica Plain, MA Patch

Early Tuesday morning, Boston Police arrested protesters and demolished a new camp that Occupy Boston protesters had established on Monday, according to a wide variety of reports on Twitter.

The original Occupy Boston protest zone near South Station remains intact.

Sean Ryan, a former candidate for City Council, posted a photo of Police Commissioner Ed Davis standing in the area that had been cleared.

According to scanner traffic, the charges against those arrested could include “unlawful assembly” and “entering and remaining in a city park after 11 p.m.”

“Protestors have been asked to return to their original camp site on the Greenway and leave the area of the Greenway by Pearl Street where they expanded to earlier today,” said a statement from Boston Police Media Relations. “That particular section of the Greenway recently underwent a renovation of the green space by the Greenway Conversancy. We have been communicating that request to protestors in various ways including in person, Twitter and flyers.”

According to police, print copies of this message were distributed at the second camp that was later dispersed:

The Boston Police Department has continued to respect your right to peacefully protest. The BPD is also obligated to maintain public order and safety. We ask for your ongoing cooperation.

What the BPD expects from Occupy Boston Participants:

• Respect police instructions and, if asked to leave an area, please do so peacefully, taking your belongings with you.

• Don’t engage in negative behavior, such as fighting, throwing objects, or destroying property.

• If you are noticed by the BPD that you are unlawfully assembling, or trespassing, you will not be allowed to remain in the area. Please immediately leave the area with your belongings, or you will be subject to arrest.

What Occupy Boston Participants can expect from the BPD:

• BPD will arrest those knowingly in violation of the law if necessary.

• Police will employ the use of video-cameras in areas surrounding the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The video will be used to capture the images of individuals who are engaging in disorder. Those images will then be used to lodge criminal complaints in a follow-up investigation conducted by Boston Police detectives.

• Officers will conduct themselves in a professional, respectful and proportional manner.

Know the Laws:

Unlawful Assembly

• In the event that 5 or more armed people or 10 or more people are unlawfully, riotously or tumultuously assembled, the police can demand that they immediately and peaceably disperse.

• Any person who unlawfully assembles and does not disperse after being ordered is subject to arrest and imprisonment of up to 1 year or a fine between $100 and $500.

Trespassing

• Remaining upon land of another after having been forbidden to do so by a person who has lawful control over the premises.

• Any person who trespasses is subject to arrest and imprisonment of up to 30 days or a fine of up to $100.

via Police Arrest Protesters, Demolish Camp in Financial Zone – Jamaica Plain, MA Patch.

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Boston Police Throw American Flag To Ground, Arrest Veterans, Trash Property To Protect ‘Green Space’ From 99 Percent | ThinkProgress

Before the arrests and clearing of the park, the police surrounded it, lining up over a dozen paddy wagons along one side. They told members of the media to leave and not to film proceedings. After a five-minute warning to disperse, police moved in, first arresting the peacefully protesting veterans — who included a female veteran of the Iraq War, according to the Boston Phoenix — and then other Occupy Boston activists. According to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, about 100 arrests were made.

The police then tore down the protesters’ encampment. Live feeds from onlookers showed Boston Police dumping dismantled tents, signs, and chairs into waiting garbage trucks, destroying the protesters’ property.

Tuesday morning’s mass arrest marks the first significant confrontation between police and Occupy Boston. Activists in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street began an occupation of Dewey Square Park, a small park in the heart of Boston’s financial district on Friday, September 30, without conflict. The number of participants in Occupy Boston outgrew the space over the week. On Monday morning, dozens of protesters set up a new occupation on the Rose Kennedy Greenway between Pearl and Congress Streets, one block northeast of Dewey Square. Over the course of the day, the Boston Police Department issued warnings to the occupiers of the new encampment that they were at risk of arrest because of potential damage to the greenway.

Over Twitter, a department spokesperson warned activists the police wanted to “curtail additional damage to newly developed green space” because “the Greenway Conservancy recently invested over $150,000 in new plantings for all to enjoy.” The Greenway Conservancy is a private non-profit organization that raises funds for the public park. Its board is comprised of several of Boston’s wealthiest financiers.

Before the mass arrest and destruction of the second Occupy Boston encampment, police media relations issued a statement that “the Boston Police Department respects your right to protest peacefully.

via Boston Police Throw American Flag To Ground, Arrest Veterans, Trash Property To Protect ‘Green Space’ From 99 Percent | ThinkProgress.

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Occupy Wall Street protests continue, with fresh push planned targeting banks – CNN.com

New York (CNN) — Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, music star Kanye West and the Rev. Al Sharpton were the latest to lend their celebrity to the Occupy Wall Street cause, mixing with the masses in New York on Monday, days ahead of a larger, promised protest targeting mammoth banks.

Their visits came as the burgeoning movement continued to echo from coast to coast, voicing impassioned sentiments on a range of topics while commonly railing against what protesters describe as corporate greed, political ineptitude and the inordinate power wielded by the United States’ wealthiest people.

“We are here today because we agree 1% should not be controlling the (nation’s) wealth,” Sharpton said on his nationally syndicated radio program from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. “These (demonstrators) are regular people trying to feed their families, trying to pay their rent and mortgages, trying to survive.”

The outspoken civil rights activist and his “Keepin’ It Real” show were joined Monday in the park — where protesters have been camping out for 24 days — by Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Recordings and the Phat Farm clothing empire, one of many high-profile people to visit in recent days. And a YouTube video, posted on Rapdose.com, showed Simmons at the park flanked by Grammy Award-winning artist Kanye West.

Earlier, organizers of the “leaderless resistance movement” billed Monday as “Kids Speak Out” day, given that many schoolchildren are off for Columbus Day.

“Even as banks got bailed out, American children have witnessed their parents get tossed out of their homes and lose their jobs. Public school kids have lost arts, music and physical education,” the movement’s website said. “Now our kids can see activists take these issues to the streets in a democratic forum at Occupy Wall Street.”

Playing down the protests Occupy Wall Street: Speech vs. security Occupy Wall Street spreads to Philly 24 days of Occupy Wall Street

University students played a big part Monday in demonstrations associated with the movement in Boston.

Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts and other schools were among those represented — along with members of several labor unions and other groups who have been active in Occupy Boston events in recent weeks. Overhead video from Boston showed long lines of people filling up streets as they marched.

A posting on the website of that city’s movement suggested that the march from the Boston Common to Dewey Square was timed to come on the eve of key votes on the American Jobs Act, a bill pushed by President Barack Obama to boost the economy.

“We can’t just sit idly by while the politicians in Washington play political games with our jobs and our livelihoods,” protester Jay Chambers said on the site, which claimed the bill would create “at least 11,000 local jobs.” “It’s time to take the fight to the streets.”

But that didn’t appear to be the only message. Video showed one Boston protester holding up a sign that read “No privatization of public education,” and CNN affiliate WCVB characterized the event as a protest against university presidents’ high salaries.

Open Story: See iReports from the protests.

The nationwide movement has been largely peaceful, though it has led to some skirmishes with police and arrests, particularly in New York and Washington. It has also stoked fervent public debate, including among politicians. Democrats have generally offered sympathy for protesters’ concerns while several Republicans, among them 2012 presidential candidates Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich, have described the demonstrations as “class warfare.”

New York Mayor Bloomberg, an independent, appeared Monday to soften his stance about the protests.

Last Friday, he said on WOR radio that some demonstrators were “trying to destroy the jobs of working people in the city” and suggested it could only be a matter of time before officials potentially put an end to the Zuccotti Park encampment. Yet, speaking to CNN affiliate WCBS at a Columbus Day parade, the mayor said the city now plans to allow the protesters to stay indefinitely.

“The bottom line is, people want to express themselves, as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to,” he said.

The Occupy movement shows few signs of slowing down. Rallies and marches have been held in numerous towns and cities in recent days, with many more planned.

That includes a “Call to Action Against Banks,” which New York’s Occupy Wall Street announced on its Facebook site will happen Saturday.

“No longer will banks take our homes. No longer will banks rob students of our future. No longer will banks destroy the environment. No longer will banks fund the misery of war. No longer will banks cause massive unemployment. And no longer will banks create and profit from economic crisis without a struggle,” according to the online message Monday.

It then urges people to “visit your local Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Chase (branches) and let them know, we will not allow business as usual.”

“We. Will. Occupy. Everywhere,” the posting ends.

via Occupy Wall Street protests continue, with fresh push planned targeting banks – CNN.com.

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Protesters gather in New York park – World news, News – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Several thousand Occupy Wall Street protesters have marched to New York City’s Washington Square Park for a peaceful general assembly.

Demonstrators marched from Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, the group’s unofficial headquarters where protesters have been camped out for the last 22 days.

The trek was peaceful and orderly.

On Wednesday, dozens were arrested when thousands marched on Wall Street in their biggest show of support yet, and last Saturday, 700 people were arrested after they spilled on to the roadway while crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.

Protesters are speaking out against corporate greed and the gap between the rich and poor. They say they have no leaders and are making decisions by consensus.

Supporters have donated food, clothing and medical supplies.

via Protesters gather in New York park – World news, News – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk.

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