Exclusive interview: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick calls #OccupyBoston "Fascinating" and "Powerful"

Photo by Leah Filler (@LeFill)

This afternoon Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visited OccupyBoston -- without making a big deal about it. Soon after he left, Boston Phoenix editor in chief Carly Carioli caught up with the Governor prior to an appearance at the Boston Book Festival.

Q: You just left OccupyBoston. What did you see, and what do you think about the movement?
A: Well I've been trying to get down there for days in a way that was low key, because basically I just wanted to listen, get a sense of what was on people’s minds. And it's hard to do that in my job. So it was kind of spontaneous. And it was fascinating. I met with a couple of the organizers -- very thoughtful, responsible people. It's incredibly well organized -- you’ve been down there. I saw the library and the media tent and the food distribution and logistics -- really beautifully organized. It was chill today. And they had some wind and rain damage last night.

One of the things that really put a fine point on it for me was -- if you've been in the library, there's a white board and the caption on top says, “Why are we here?” And people write different messages. There was one message which I’ll paraphrase, because I don't remember exactly what it said, which was that we have come to accept confrontation and injustice as facts of life, and that needs to change. Powerful.

Q: So you're in support of the occupation?
A: I support their right to assemble and to express themselves and to do that peacefully and as far as I can tell they have and are committed to continuing to do so.

Q: As you're aware, the police removed the protesters from a second parcel. Would you be in support of an expansion of the occupation if a suitable location could be found?
A: You’ve got to address that question to the mayor. The mayor has a job to do to balance the interests in public safety and access for the people who are participating in Occupy Boston and everybody else. And I know he's trying to do that as carefully and as thoughtfully as he can.

Q: One of the objections to the Occupation is the cost -- is there any scenario in which the state might find money to help offset the cost to the city of them being there?
A: I promise you there's no extra money lying around. No one has put that question to us, so I haven't gone rummaging around to find what resources there may be. But I get that -- I don't have an answer.

>> PHOTOS: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick visits #OccupyBoston


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