About 100 Occupy Boston protesters were arrested by police after refusing to leave a local park early this morning in the latest evidence Occupy Wall Street is becoming a national movement.
According to the Boston Globe, approximately 200 Boston Police Department officers squared off with a crowd of approximately 1,000 protesters gathered on a section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway near Congress Street at approximately 1:20 a.m. Malden Patch reports police previously warned the protesters to leave the area by midnight.
Over the weekend, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said the protesters in his city were wearing out their welcome. “There will be a time when they’ll have to leave that location,” Mayor Menino said.
Occupy Boston was originally gathered in nearby Dewey Park and the police claim they wanted protesters to return to the original location because their presence was endangering recent renovations. The Rose Kennedy Greenway, named after the matriarch of the Kennedy clan, was the last piece of Boston’s much maligned 16 year, $22 billion “Big Dig” construction project, so damaging the park is clearly a sensitive issue. Boston Police Department sent a message to the official Occupy Boston Twitter account saying, “The Greenway Conservancy recently invested over 150k in new plantings 4 all to enjoy @ 2nd site. Pls return to original.”
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, who was on hand for the arrests, told the Boston Herald “anarchists” who infiltrated Occupy Boston were to blame for the arrests. “The group that was here for the first ten days was working very closely with us, but they warned us yesterday morning that a new group, the anarchists, wanted to take control,” Commissioner Davis said.
Occupy Boston disputed the BPD’s account on their official Twitter feed with a message that read, “DO NOT LISTEN to how the BPD tries to spin this. We made a verbal agreement w/ the trust director to care for the land. No anarchists.”
Prior to the arrests on Monday evening, police officers distributed flyers among the Occupy Boston protesters with guidelines for protesting:
“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. … 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.”
Protesters posted a statement following the arrests claiming they were “brutally assaulted” by the police. Videos posted to YouTube documented alleged instances of violence. Despite the arrests, Occupy Boston vowed to continue the protests in a message posted on its official Twitter feed this morning that read, “People are coming from NYC, DC, and other places. Dewey, prepare accordingly.”