[act-ma] What Happened to Me in the Police Raid and Arrest 141 of Peaceful Protestors
bdubkwob at gmail.com
Wed Oct 12 07:36:47 PDT 2011
<sorry for the broken message earlier, feel free to forward this one WIDELY>
Police Attack Occupy Boston, Arresting 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
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
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
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,
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!
Videos of the police attack:
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