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    Occupier: What Happened to Me in the Police Raid and Arrest of 141 Peaceful Protestors

    Brothers and sisters,
    I want to tell to you what happened to me on Monday night into early Tuesday morning and explain what it means for the movement.

    Monday afternoon, the mass march of thousands of students and workers joined by MassUniting and the Right to the City Alliance culminated in a demonstration at the park square just north of Dewey Square, across the street.

    We decided in a General Assembly style mass meeting to occupy and hold this second park square, which was merely the logical and geographical dimension of the expansion of our peaceful protest movement.  The director of the Rose Kennedy Greenway(RKG) told the Assembly that they respected freedom of speech, and that the North Square had recently undergone renovation of the grass and gardens that she wanted preserved. She implied that if we would respect the greens, and work to restore them later if necessary, then there wouldn’t be a problem.

    But the Mayor had a problem: he doesn’t want our movement to grow and expand in any way shape or form. His office reportedly said that if we didn’t leave by midnight, then he would arrest everyone in the square. This was apparently to happen regardless of whether we had permission from the RKG and regardless of our right to freedom of assembly and our peaceful nature.

    Waiting till cover of darkness and minimum public scrutiny, the police began their attack at around 1:45am. I watched as they marched into the front line of our peaceful perimeter, which was composed of mostly-elderly war veterans from Veterans for Peace, who were all wielding white flags with a dove and olive branch on them. Some were tackled to the ground, others choke-slammed before being hog-tied with plastic and thrown in the wagon. See with your own eyes in the videos below.

    I was arrested shortly thereafter (around 2am), luckily not roughed up, or thrown on the ground, or scratched in the face in the way that many others I saw were. They put me in a wagon and took eight of us to a holding station in West Roxbury.  After about 6 hours, I did get half a cup of water and one phone call but they took my shoes before I re-entered the cell after booking. Then I was confined to a cold cell with no food and, now, no shoes for another 7 hours. Though it doesn’t compare to conditions in Guantanamo Bay, being confined in a cold cell with no food for 13 hours seems to me to be rather cruel and inhumane treatment for peaceful protestors.

    Around 3pm (I think) they took us to a the courthouse in Government Center, and offered us a plea deal to move from criminal charges of “unlawful assembly” and “trespassing” to a civil “parking-ticket-type” fine of $50. Some took the deal, others pleaded not guilty and will go to trial in a few weeks.

    I got out of jail around 5pm, after a 15 hour ordeal, only to find out that Menino had ordered the square not only to be cleared of people, but cleared of all our property and possessions. Personally, I lost my tent, two sleeping bags, a large comforter and pillow, and a box of DVDs that were given to me for the purpose of creating an educational film series for Occupy Boston. They took ALL the tents and belongings, destroyed them and put them in a trash truck and hauled them away.

    What does this mean?

    First of all, SHAME ON THE BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT for their cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners.

    Second of all, SHAME ON MAYOR MENINO for his violent attack on the peaceful protest and his destructive clearing of ALL of our personal property from the Northern Square.

    Let us be CLEAR: the top 1% and those with all the money and power, are represented by the Mayor’s office, and it is THEIR interests who the police are here to ‘protect and serve’. Not ours. They want to scare us into submission, and prevent the expansion of this movement.

    So our response to these attacks on freedom of speech, assembly, and political dissent should be clear and simple:
    We need to DOUBLE and RE-DOUBLE our efforts to DEEPEN and BROADEN this movement.

    Every campus, every community organization, every labor union, and every neighborhood needs to know what why we’re here (to protest and organize alternatives to corporate domination of our lives) and how they can PARTICIPATE in changing society with us (join a committee, spread the word, donate supplies!).

    Thanks for your support, as evidenced by the MASS turnout at last night’s General Assembly. KEEP IT COMING.

    We hope to see you in the Square!

    Solidarity forever,

    More on Occupy Boston Arrests


    Boston police arrested 141 people during Occupy Boston demonstrations on Tuesday. The early morning arrests (1:30 am) were for trespassing and unlawful assembly. After almost 15 hours in custody, all of the peaceful demonstrators detained by the Boston Police Department had finally been released as of 6 pm on October 11. Occupy Boston has many eye-witness accounts and videos of police misconduct during the arrests (see above).

    Perhaps the most disturbing, and characteristic, clip is of a member of Veterans for Peace being thrown to the ground multiple times without provocation. Street medics and clearly marked legal observers who were also detained despite explanation that they were neutral observers, and in sharp contrast to how non-violent arrests ordinarily take place.

    As the Boston Globe said:

    Urszula Masny-Latos (executive director of the National Lawyers Guild’s Northeast regional office) said no protesters fought with police. She said police could have employed a technique routinely used at other protests—police approach a protester, tell them they are violating the law, and the protester then submits to being taken into custody—and still achieved their goal of clearing the area.

    “They really attacked,” Masny-Latos said of police. “They used force that was completely unnecessary. … It was just brutal. I have no idea why they arrested us with such force’’ (

    While police contend that their actions were, at least in part, due to an anarchist contingent that had taken control of the group, this was not the case. While police stood across the street from Occupy Boston’s General Assembly, the General Assmebly voted almost unanimously (80%) to peacefully protest Occupy Boston’s removal from the area that BPD insisted the protestors vacate by 12:00 am Tuesday.

    Occupiers have been in constant contact with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, a non-profit that manages the publicly park owned by MassDOT, and, prior to their arrests, they had received verbal consent to stay in the park. Further, Occupy Boston has plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for restoring damaged areas of the park. Last week, members also unanimously agreed to return to Dewey Square—and any other areas that they occupy—to repair any damaged grass.

    As the Huffington Post wrote:

    The Greenway website confirms that it did have an agreement with the protestors. “Occupy Boston organizers have been cooperative with the Conservancy and the Boston Police Department to date, and have agreed to avoid the planting beds and adhere to common sense rules.” Calls to the Greenway seeking comment were not returned (The Huffington Post).

    We Are Rebuilding

    Here in Dewey Square the sun is shining and we are rebuilding our camp. Tearful reunions and sober reflection have characterized our day here as we seek to land on our feet after the events of early this morning. We will we will hold our general assembly tonight at 7 pm, as scheduled, and remain focused on the central purpose of this movement. Please come join us!

    Images from the Takedown

    If you have additional images, please email them to

    Occupy Boston Declares Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples

    Boston, MA, October 10, 2011 – Occupy Boston ratified a statement of solidarity with indigenous peoples at the Saturday October 8­ General Assembly. Recognizing that “we are guests upon stolen indigenous land,” the memo declares the Occupation movement must honor the history and wisdom of Native Americans and resolves that Columbus Day henceforth be referred to as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. ­

    The memo was drafted by a small working committee of the General Assembly and ratified by consensus after some deliberation. Boston thus became the first city in the broader “Occupation movement” to clearly declare its solidarity with indigenous peoples. Occupy Boston has released one other statement so far – an internal document prohibiting white supremacy, patriarchy, and several other forms of oppressive behavior within the camp (posted October 4 at

    Drafters and supporters celebrated its ratification and see the resolution’s content as consistent with the values of Occupy Boston. Martin Dagoberto declared, “calling this movement an ‘occupation’ without recognizing the historical context of occupation excludes a long-marginalized segment of the 99% – native peoples. ” Referencing Native American critics of Occupy Wall Street, ( Dagoberto continued, “If we’re going to tap into the people power of the entire 99%, we need to avoid the same old systems of deeply ingrained oppression. In this way, we can ‘Decolonize’ this movement, and cast off the colonizer mindset at the root of the very crisis we face.”

    “Decolonize Wall Street” has emerged as a critique of the Occupy Wall Street movement. As stated in the #decolonizewallstreet flier distributed over recent days in New York, “colonization continues to this day, with indigenous communities across the globe still under attack. To dismantle corporate greed and imagine a different world we must make connections between the histories of colonialism, genocide, capitalism, human trafficking, globalization, racism, imperialism, ecocide, patriarchy and so much more.”

    Activists have been camped out in Boston’s Dewey Square in the heart of the city’s financial district since September 30. Boston is one of hundreds of occupations worldwide, sparked by Occupy Wall Street. Messages and motives vary, but all seem outraged at the fleecing of the silent majority– the 99% – by banks, corporations, and a government beholden to private financial interests rather than the good of the people.

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