Twitter Reports of Cops Beating Participants in #OccupyBoston, Breaking Up Encampment

The police decided to clear out the OccupyBoston crowd overnight.

The video footage shows the police moving in, then about 90 seconds of crowd unhappiness, and then it gets a bit chaotic. It looks like some veterans were forced to the ground with the crowd calling “Shame”.

The tweets are from #OccupyBoston; you should also check #Occupy_Boston.

The Boston Globe just released a report, and it reads like the police version:

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…

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.

About 100 people were arrested, Davis said. One police officer was hit in the face.

According to police, no protesters or police were injured.

Any eyewitness accounts very much appreciated.

Update 4:15 AM: Jesse points out that the police move in on one encampment, the second one is still in full force. It remains to be seen whether this was a shot across the bow and more action is forthcoming, or whether les gensdarmes felt it necessary to prove to the citizenry that the authorities were still very much in control.

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  1. Jesse

    It was my understanding that this was a 2nd camp that had sprung up in addition to the main Occupy Boston camp (which was not broken up by police). Is this correct?

      1. John L

        From what I’ve read online (no TV news channel is touching this today) the 2nd site was made up of college students and others who did not have a permit to demonstrate there. That’s why the police moved in. Whether they intend to go after the permitted site is unknown. There have been other police actions at Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis and Dallas, but they were mostly just “we’re showing up at your demonstration just in case”, with no arrests.

        1. Charlie Dodgson

          The mayor was on local radio (WBUR) this morning saying that he expected to clear out the original (Dewey Square) encampment “soon”, but had not decided on any particular time…

        2. Jugo1502

          We do not possess a permit for the original Dewey Square camp. The BPD can move in and assault us whenever they please. This outcome is inevitable. The question here, that we are now dealing with, is what to do after BPD clears Dewey. From our perspective, this is a chess match. BPD may want to make and keep this a vulgar brawl, but that tactic will fail. We aren’t playing the violence game.

          I believe that we have grown too strong in numbers. The evidence lies in the tremendous power we displayed in yesterday’s march through the Boston Streets. Many Boston-area universities were represented. Our largest showing yet (it was impressive).

          More students will come. More laborers will come. More citizens will come. This will not end.

  2. psychohistorian


    The water is starting to boil.

    If these protests, in Boston, and elsewhere are contained from growing here and now, it will be interesting to see what level of force it will take.

    If they are not contained here and now, good for the 99%.

    Wow, just wow.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely! (best guess Lord Acton)

  3. LA-CC

    Even if they can quash this, do they think the actual protest just goes quietly into the night? I don’t think this was a wise move. Did they forget what fanned the OWS flame? It got a great boost from the video of the pepper spray incident.

    No. This started months ago in Wisconsin. Remember the chant, “Shame, shame, shame…!” as the legislature left the chamber following the cram down law? Walker recall efforts are underway. It doesn’t just go away.

  4. Linus Huber

    This is the result of the cleptocracy kept in place by the present people in charge. I commend all those who reject injustice produced by corrupt laws (due to “lobbying” by the looters) that allow the looting by the few at the expense of the many. One can pervert the laws to a certain degree but when they are a slap in the face of obvious justice as perceived by a large majority, a reaction is not only granted by required.

  5. Wyntunnel

    Given the unbelievably ignorant and callous remarks coming from anchors and reporters on CNBC regarding the #occupywallstreet protests, one gets the impression that for a lot of the douchebags (and there is really no other way to describe them) that work in the beltway and that nebulous Universe referred to as “Wall Street” this is the very first time that they are getting any sense that all is not well in the State of America. Good Lord it’s going to get ugly!!

  6. c13579c

    One of the most important things which may come out of these few weeks: people who fight to protect themselves and their livelihoods will have many supporters. You are freer now to form a union, fight outsourcing, or defend your home than in many years.

  7. c13579c

    Tom Joad: Then it don’t matter. I’ll be all around in the dark – I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look – wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too.

  8. Skippy

    Ah…America…the shining beacon.

    Skippy…or is that death ray to 3rd world country’s not with the program and stupefying beam to many of its inhabitants.

  9. BringOutTheGuns

    When will the 99% bring out the weapons? It’s only a matter of time before civil war breaks out.

    1. lambert strether

      Er, when they want to lose by attacking their enemy’s strength?

      The elite expects violence, is prepared for violence, enjoys, lusts for violence.

      No doubt that’s why the first one to call for violence is always the cop.

      1. noe

        France still enjoys the fruits of the Terror. Tyrants yield NOTHING without violence.

        To this day, France has vibrant village life, fewer corporate masters.. healthy family farms.

        Without the extreme violence of that protracted revolution, the French would also be slaves to the corporate model.

        Jefferson should have fought harder to outlaw the corporation as a business model. He knew what was coming.

        1. Richard Kline

          So noe, understood; agreed; keep on keep ‘n’ on.

          So lambert, you miss the point. Yes, the revolutions in China and Russia went bad; very bad. On the other side of the ledger, the totally parasitic Russo-German aristocracy of Russia ceased to be an oppressive factor. The destructive-extractive Manchu occupation and their quisling mandarin class in China ceased to be a factor. It took a revolution to take them out; that was the lesson. The problem there, more than anything else, is that the institutional and social base to begin a democratic trajectory didn’t exist, so a different form of autarchy took root. . . . We don’t have that problem in the US.

      2. Dave of Maryland

        Hello Lambert, It depends on the size of the forces. An angry mob of a thousand is a juicy target for the police.

        An angry mob of 100,000, or 500,000 goes where it wants and does what it likes. Peaceful maybe, violent if it wants to be. There are AT LEAST that many unhappy people in the five boroughs, only a subway ride away.

        Yves once mentioned that lower Manhattan was a poor place for demonstrations. No big squares unhappy people can assemble in. Turn that around and if there was a really, really big group down there, there’s now way it could be controlled. Not by organizers, not by police, by nothing and no one.

        I don’t want to see people hurt. This is scary.

        1. lambert strether

          People are going to be hurt regardless. Mohamed Bouazizi was hurt, rather badly, too. It’s a question of how and why and to what end. Things can always be worse; it’s not clear to me, for example, that the revolutionary vanguards in the 20th century, whether left or right, had outcomes that netted out positive for, well, the 99%.

          People who advocate killing their political enemies are always on the horns of a trilemma: (1) To be moral, and not self-indulgent or romantic, they have to show the near certainty of a greater good. I think the history of the 20th C makes that burden of proof heavy; (2) nobody who advocates violence and is serious would do so in an open forum like this one. Hence we have either unserious people, or people who make dishonest half-arguments that boil down to “history proves.” Well, history doesn’t repeat, but rhymes, and does not repeat, hence proves very little; and (3) the first one to advocate violence is always the cop. That’s because the elite expects violence, has planned for it, and enjoys it, sociopathic freaks that they are.

          A reputation for non-violence is a huge good will asset on the balance sheet. Anybody who’d try to get the Occupations to p*ss that away after a few weeks is a fool, or worse.

          1. tsisageya

            Lambert, self defense is self defense. I’m starting to change my mind about non-violence. Not yet, but starting.

            Perhaps the earth needs a protector.

  10. Bill G

    Why do we insist on using the power of the federal gvt (Dodd-Frank, Geithner, Obama, the Bernank) to funnel the nations wealth to the big banks??????? Can’t we end “too big to fail” that Dodd-Frank enshrined into law? Why not have small enough to fail instead and remove our self-imposed screwing? And how bout those great weapons of financial mass destruction CDS etc?? How bout having the banks reserve 50% for each one they write??

    1. Soullite

      Sounds like the DHS to me. Cops, for all the bullshit they tell themselves, just aren’t that coordinated. You put two departments together, and you’re as likely to get a fight as you are to get an agreement.

      That is to say, unless someone stronger is there to order them around. Like all thugs, that’s just about the only circumstance in which they will sublimate their own individual tendencies toward violence. Chances are, the DoJ or the DHS is behind this level of coordination.

      That means that at the end of the day, I imagine Obama made this call.

  11. Woodrow Wilson

    For the record, The Boston Police Department (BPD) is now on record as stating that: “The group of protesters has been taken over by Anarchists”

    Per WTKK (heard it first thing on way into work) playback of audio by the BPD.

    I also heard audio clip of a protester/Ron Paul supporter here. Arguably the first non-college student/college for free crowd that was very specific and articulate in regards to criticizing The Federal Reserve.

    1. alex

      “The group of protesters has been taken over by Anarchists”

      Talk about retro. The other day I was making fun of people using the term “hippie”. Nothing more up to date than a reference to a brief cultural phenomenon that died away 40 years ago?

      But now they’ve gone back to the late-19th/early-20th century. That’s right folks, before enemies of TPTB were called terrorists, before they were called communists, they were called anarchists. Quick, alert President Wilson!

      Ok, in the spirit of remembering American history, let’s do them one better. The opposition should be referred to as Tories (come to think of it, it’s a pretty accurate description).

    2. Transor Z

      Definitely Anarchists. Saw it with my own two eyes. Sacco and Vanzetti were there, along with Red Emma. I thought they were filming an episode of The Walking Dead.

    3. reslez

      The word “anarchist” is very important. It’s used internally by the law enforcement regime almost as a catch-all term. If you see that word being used… you know where it’s from.

      Cops use “anarchists” as a bogeyman to justify violent repression. We saw this in Minneapolis when police went nuts jailing peace activists and raiding vegans before the 2008 RNC. Oh those scary anarchists.

  12. Soullite

    It is pretty apparent that a lot of people need to see this, because too many people just assume that if you show up in great enough numbers, or act non-violently, then everything will work out just fine.

    My question to most of them is this: When non-violence has proven to fail, as it always does when it comes to economic matters, will they support doing what actually has to be done? Or are they only willing to ‘fight’ for their freedoms so long as they don’t actually have to, you know, fight.

    1. chad

      I understand your point but if you’re going to engage violence you better be 100% sure you’re going to win so you can re-write the laws at the end and declare your own not guilty verdict.

      Otherwise, you’re just a criminal to be jailed.

      1. Tempus

        It is not yet even CLOSE to needing to consider actual fighting. This hasn’t even reached a fraction of the police thuggery that was a staple of the 60s protests.

        Perhaps when we start seeing govt-sanctioned raids and attacks (fed and local) of the likes seen in Egypt (molotovs tossed by the “official” side, vehicles driven into protestors, mass sanctioned beatings) we can start discussing proportionate responses. But seriously, it wont even get to that point before politicians start to fall, police departments get mauled by investigations, etc.

        When I see govt “Serbian” forces marching in against the protestor “Kosovars” and start disappearing people and shooting I will be more than happy to dive in whole hog with a REAL fight. I just don’t see that happening.

    2. Gil Gamesh

      You are right in that force will be required for Americans to regain our democracy, and achieve any sort of economic justice. What rights we do enjoy have only been won after struggle, imprisonment, injury and death. Our overlords today would happily murder thousands, evens 100s of thousands of us, than relinquish any power or cede any material advantage (If you think this claim is outlandish, then research the history of “Pax Americana”. Total up the number of corpses. We are as much non-persons as the globe spanning trail of the dead.) However, non-violence is the path. Violence by protesters and rebels will play into the strength of the State. I have little doubt US elites would very much like to wage active war against us, the Class War having been just a run up.

    3. No Blood for Hubris

      “When non-violence has proven to fail, as it always does when it comes to economic matters . . .”

      Uh, hello, Gandhi? What a ridiculous thing to say.

      Violence benefits the status quo.

      If you’re advocating violence, you’re on the wrong team.

  13. chad

    OT but I was in Austin over the weekend and saw maybe 1 or 2 hundred occupiers.

    Also, I drove by Pioneer plaza in Dallas yesterday and there’s about 70 camped out there, I know that doesn’t seem like a lot but that’s pretty noteworthy for a city like Dallas.

  14. Gil Gamesh

    Well, pace Gandhi, first they ignore you, then ridicule you, then demonize, then criminalize, then they bash your heads in. Such is power in the face of non-violent protest.

      1. Gil Gamesh

        Non-violent protest is met with state violence. Violent protest is met with greater state violence. Tactics and morality must be in alignment. Otherwise, we are as bad as they.

  15. b.

    This (Salon, below) is a very powerful meme, despite its false start. If the Democrats had the courage of their pretend convictions (not to mention the convictions), the Repugnics hypocrisy in short-changing soldiers and veterans would ve an opening to drive an armored corps through.

    Note that even Walsh’s ‘stablishment nod to good behavior is lukewarm. “They are just doing their jobs. They are just following orders. They *have* to show enthusiasm in delivering the beatings.”

    On Monday night, Boston police broke up the Occupy Boston protest, and in the process, they tore down an American flag and knocked down at least one American military veteran. A group of Veterans for Peace stood in a line in front of the Occupy Boston protesters, and after the police warned the entire group to disperse, a line of cops marched out of the darkness and seemed to move on the veterans first. You can hear protesters on the video screaming over and over, “We are veterans of the United States of America.” It’s chilling. The video is dark, so it’s hard to see exactly what’s happening, but when the American flag starts to totter, it’s like the Iwo Jima moment in reverse.

  16. Tempus

    Attacking veterans is nothing new the Amerikan government. There was a real juicy raid on thousands of WWI veterans in DC in 1932. Good ole Hoover ordered the attack on the veterans who were there demanding remuneration of their service certificates. They earned it, the govt was holding out and screwing the vets.

    The govt sent in the Army to clear the veterans from all “government” property (ie, PUBLIC property). So in went the cavalry AND TANKS to clear them out.

    Stabbing its own veterans in the face AND back is not new to the US government (they’ve done it with stop-loss orders, multiple tours of duty in the Hellhole ME, and now with trying to REALLY screw vets by gutting their pensions and turning them into stock market trash “investment” accounts instead).

    1. Tempus

      That short list I give above of the US govt stabbing vets in the back is not at all exhaustive, of course: Agent Orange health problem denial, Gulf War syndrome denial, denial (and continued us of) negative health effects from depleted uranium munitions, denial and resistance to recognize PTSD and provide treatment… Still not exhaustive but useful when one may wonder how low the govt can go when it comes to treatment of vets (or any other citizen for that matter).

  17. Walt

    Can everyone please take a next step: take all your money out of the big five bank’s accounts and stuff it in a save place. No deposits, nothing to “reserve” for fra ctional reserve nonsense.

    I have virtually no money in bank accounts.

    1. Tempus

      The moment the bailouts occurred I pulled my account from BoA. I went 100% credit union. I own my bank now and there is no bullcrap CEO golden parachute, no bonuses, etc. At the time I encouraged everyone I could to pull their money and go credit union/local bank only – defund the big banks from the bottom up. Few followed heed. Dolts all.

      1. Jerrydenim

        Amen brother,

        I did the same back in ’99 when Clinton and the Rubinites killed Glass-Stegall and paved the way for the era of mega-mega TBTF banks with the Citi-Corp Traveler’s group merger. Anyone who cares enough to regularly read this blog should definitely park their money in a credit union or a small local bank.

        There would be no need to occupy Wall Street if all Americans denied it funds

  18. selise

    good statement from VFP:

    Statement from Veterans For Peace Regarding the Incident in Boston Last Night, by Acting Director, Mike Ferner

    Last night in Boston, our members displayed real courage, standing nonviolently between police and people in the Occupy Boston protest. Police were given orders to clear the park and initial reports I’ve heard say that some VFP members and perhaps others were injured by the police and that fifty people were arrested. If there were injuries, we hope they were minimal. VFP never condones the use of violence.

    We need to keep in mind that police officers are in the same 99% as we are, providing the muscle, sweat, blood and money used by the 1% who own and govern. The most important thing we share with the police is our humanity. We appeal to police in every corner of America to maintain their humanity and think about it when they consider orders they are given.

    The largest democratic uprising in U.S. history was that of the Populists in the late 1800’s. Of them, Lawrence Goodwyn, author of “The Populist Moment,” wrote that they “…created the psychological space to dare to aspire grandly.” That is what the dozens of “Occupy” movements are doing throughout America today — daring to aspire grandly and aspiring to the grandest ideal of our nation, which is democracy.

    We are just at the beginning stages of a powerful, new rising of democratic energy and ideals. We will remain human but we will remain silent no longer.

  19. No Blood for Hubris

    I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

    Mahatma Gandhi

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