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Saturday, December 10, 2011

#OccupyBoston sweep carried out without violence; camp cleared in less than an hour

Posted by YeezysWorld on 7:03 AM


Around 5 a.m. today, dozens of police vans rolled in from South Boston, and several hundred regular and special-operations officers poured out. The long-awaited operation to end Occupy Boston had begun.In the end, most protesters went peacefully. There was no pepper spray, no tear gas as had been used to break up similar protests in other US cities.



















In a methodical maneuver that lasted less than an hour, the officers had cleared the camp, arrested an estimated 46 occupiers, and erected barricades around the half-acre site. Remaining tents and other personal effects were quickly collected and disposed in a waiting trash compactor.


The relatively calm and orderly raid was in contrast to those carried out on Occupy camps in some other large cities.



Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said at the scene afterward that the operation went smoothly. He said the department had been planning it for several weeks.

“Several weeks ago, they developed a plan that they were going to be hands-off. …. We intended to come tonight,” he said.

An operation was ruled out for early Friday, after a city-imposed ultimatum had expired, “because the crowds were too strong. We are trying to do this as painlessly as possible,” Davis said.

The eviction took shape after hundreds of officers met at 3.30 a.m. this morning at the South Boston convention center for roll call, he said.

The eviction proceeded quickly and in an orderly fashion.

After police arrived at the scene, they encircled the camp. Commanders ordered them to line up at double-arm distance.

Making their way amid the leftover tents, mud, and wooden pallets, police with bullhorns announced: “Good morning. You are trespassing on Greenway property. If you have property, take it with you.”

Within minutes of surrounding the camp, officers in a line began moving through the tent area, shining flashlights inside. They dismantled the tents then tossed them on the sidewalk. The tents were then thrown into a waiting trash truck.

Thomas Lee, police deputy superintendent, commanded the officers as they corralled protesters into a corner of the park. He told demonstrators they were “in violation” and trespassing in the park and would have to leave.

“We’re giving them multiple opportunities to leave, but we’re prepared to arrest all of them,” Lee said.

As officers ripped down the infrastructure, several dozen protesters sat near the section of the camp where the group had held General Assemblies. They locked arms and chanted in solidarity.

Police with plastic cuffs surrounded them, and a patrol wagon pulled up.

Officers approached each protester individually, and asked for their names. Police put a name tag on each one. Police Superintendent William Evans told the group he wanted to exercise “the least amount of force possible.”

One by one, the detainees were each placed in plastic cuffs with their hands behind their back, and escorted to the patrol wagons. Officers searched the pockets of each protester for sharp objects.

Some acted like rag dolls and had to be carried to the trucks. Some yelling, saying they worried their wrists would be injured by the cuffs. An officer told them to “stop putting on a show.’’

Several of the protesters changed their minds and were let go after they decided they didn’t want to be arrested.

The remaining detainees accepted their fates stoically.


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