As #OccupyBoston gets ready for its first post-showdown General Assembly, we're posting links to the best photos we've found from last night. Our photographer DEREK KOUYOUMJIAN was in the thick of it when the Boston Police moved in to clear the Occupants from Camp No. 2 this morning. We've now posted 20 of his photos here. Scroll down for more from Flickr.
FULL COVERAGE: Occupy Boston
Our full account of last night's action is here. The BPD's account -- a horse of an altogether different color -- is here. Perhaps the most interesting thing from the BPD statement is this: while the police sketch a timeline of repeated warnings to the Occupants, they present very little in the way of justification for the removal of protesters from the Greenway. There's the ever-popular "public-safety concern" argument -- one that they'd have an interesting time attempting to prove in court -- but the real meat of the official explanation is contained in just two sentences: "Some time after 1:00am on 10/11/11, Boston Police declared ‘Unlawful
Assembly’ in the area of the second site. As a result of an existing
city ordinance that forbids sleeping in a city park between 11:00pm and
7:00am, officers had the authority to arrest for Trespassing and
That's right, kids: the BPD arrested 145 people on the basis of a "city ordinance that forbids sleeping in a city park."
Dunno about you -- I didn't see a single sleeping body last night.
Although we've now heard from Mayor Tom Menino -- gee, what a difference a week makes, don't it yerhonner? -- it's still unclear who, exactly, decided that the Occupiers needed to Get The Hell Off Rose Kennedy's Lawn. Menino has been walking a tightrope between sympathy for the Occupants and support for his cops -- that was his boy, Superintendent in Chief Daniel Linskey, leading last night's ops on the ground. But the question remains: was Menino the driving force behind the removal of the protesters? Or did the cops finally have enough of the Occupy demonstrators during Monday afternoon's tense standoff near the bridge? Or was the Greenway Conservancy -- a public-private partnership -- simply trying to protect its $150,000 landscaping investment?
The Greenway this evening released a terse but conciliatory statement noting that "From the beginning, the Conservancy and the Boston Police Department have made it clear to protesters that they could not expand to aras of the Greenway beond Dewey Square, out of concern for public safety" -- there's that public safety again, the kind best protected by arresting 150 citizens in the middle of the night -- "and our belief in the importance of maintaining public access and enjoyment of the Greenway by all."
With that little piece of business out of the way, the Greenway then attempted to make nice by thanking OccupyBoston for "once again [being] extremely cooperative with us in terms of peaceful load-in and load-ou for the Boston Public Market, a famers market on Dewey Square that takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
Hours before the cops moved in to roust the Occupants, there was a telling mano-a-mano confrontation between Linskey and a representative of OccupyBoston named Michael Ippolito. Ippolito said he thought OccupyBoston had an agreement with the Greenway -- but Linskey interrupted him and said the police had spoken with Greenway executive director Nancy Brennan, who evidently wanted the Occupation off its lawn. Badly.(The Phoenix recorded and published audio of that conversation last night.)
Back to last night:
Here's another photo that's been making the rounds -- appears to be a Reuters photo, although we haven't seen a definitive source for it yet:
And more photosets via Flickr:
VIA FLICKR: PWEISKEL08
VIA FLICKR: OPENMEDIABOSTON
FLICKR VIA: AARON SPAGNOLO