Boston Beat: Shame…
Of course we are not there, but between street level live cams, an aeriel live cam and tweets from the scene, Boston Police, State Police and Transit Police have cleared Occupy Boston protesters from a second plot of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Afterward, sanitation workers threw out all of the protesters things. None were reported catalogued as evidence. Reportedly, officials wanted them off this second parcel because it was recently renovated. Approximately 100 were arrested and the first encampment remains undisturbed.
Police rushed the protesters and there are reports of beating Veterans who attempted to protect the protesters on the green. Police then cleared the protesters. Garrett Quinn tweeted that Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said the first 10 days went fine, but today the protesters crossed the line.
If this piece of land was so important, then the city and state should have begun good faith negotiations to find a suitable alternate location. This, tonight, was merely a show of force on the part of the authorities. An assertion of force like this, whether the protesters’ location was lawful or not, is both inappropriate and chilling in a free society. There were options the authorities could have pursued that would have respected the first amendment. Put a different way, such militant tactics are wholly unnecessary when the sole crime is “unlawful assembly.”