Police Arrest 141 ‘Occupy Boston’ Protesters
BOSTON (CBS) – The relatively peaceful ‘Occupy Boston’ protests took an ugly turn early Tuesday morning.
Boston Police say they arrested 141 people after demonstrators left their base camp and occupied an area of the Rose Kennedy Greenway that was off-limits.
Police said they communicated to the protesters to vacate the second camp by Twitter, flyers and in person.
Photos: Occupy Boston Arrests
Part of the incident was recorded by protesters who put their video on YouTube.
Protesters were previously told they could gather without a permit, as long as they stayed within the confines of Dewey Square.
“This is a brand new area that the Greenway put a lot of resources into and they filled it up with all kinds of tables and tents and were making it a place to camp out. It’s not what it’s intent is,” Superintendent-in-chief Daniel Linskey told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
“This is the first day the communication broke down between the protesters and the police,” Police Commissioner Ed Davis told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.
“The people who we had been speaking to for ten days make it clear that there were a group of anarchists that were uncontrollable that had taken charge. So, when they decide they’re going to shut down large sections of the city or go into areas that we’ve said are off-limits, we have to deal with them accordingly.”
Philip Anderson of Occupy Boston told WBZ-TV that’s not what happened.
“If that were true why were over 100 people arrested by the Boston Police Department?” he asked.
“Boston police beat union workers, beat students, beat veterans holding the American flag,” says Anderson. “And we just find that an unacceptable response to a demonstration that we were holding.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Lana Jones spoke to a veteran who was arrested.
Anderson said the relationship with police started well but “apparently we crossed a line in the sand that Boston Police had put down and our relationship did change last night. Their response was deplorable. It was violent. People were injured. People were denied medication. Hundreds of people were arrested and our relationship has changed. We’re not really sure where it’s going to go.”
In a statement Tuesday, Boston Police said:
“Although our officers faced active resistance from protesters including being spit on, our officers maintained a respectful, professional and proportional posture. If any individual experienced a concern about their interaction with an officer that individual is encourage to come forward and report that information to the department. At this time, we have not received any such complaints.”
WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields reports
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports
Those arrested were charged with unlawful assembly and criminal trespassing. The protesters were going tent-to-tent to collect bail money for the arrested. They had raised about $4,000 by sunrise.
WBZ-TV Political Editor Jon Keller looks at possible political repercussions from the movement
According to the Suffolk County District Attorney, most of those arrested had no prior records and had their misdemeanor trespassing charges amended to civil infractions at prosecutors’ request.
A small number insisted on proceeding criminally. Another small number had criminal records, and they were arraigned with court dates in December.
Some lawyers have volunteered their services to represent protesters at Boston Municipal Court.