This Is What a Boiling Point Looks Like: #Occupy Boston's Final Hours at Dewey Square

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Perhaps it's rather fitting that Dewey Square looks like a trampled battlefield today, with just a few dozen tents left among the planks, cardboard, packed boxes, and rubble. While the park-wide clean-up and vacate effort kicked off with a bang yesterday – allowing most Occupy Boston campers and working groups to safely store valuables – by this afternoon it had slowed to a crawl. Even those who were attempting to haul trash and goods seemed to be doing little more than moving rubbish from one side of Dewey to another – a phenomenon that anyone who's ever cleaned up a big construction job would understand.

At this point there's a strong sense that the end of this particular Dewey occupation – the longest running of its kind in the country at 70 days – is looming cold and hard. With that comes a general feeling – especially among those who physically remain – to stay put through the very end, until they're hauled off in city vehicles along with all their tents, flags, and other remnants of revolt (one person tells me that "as long as the movement remains there in any form, he will as well). But what throws a giant wrench into their end game is the tactical advantage that police have. Right now in Dewey it's like “The Hills Have Eyes.” They're watching, and they're coming, but nobody knows quite when (though many believe the inevitable raid will come late tonight or late tomorrow night).

Owly Images

Things began to tense up at around 2pm today, when cops started shooing away people who were bringing food donations. The food tent as it once was is gone – a few folding tables in a puddle of vinegar mud remain, along with whatever scraps have been smuggled in – and authorities are ensuring that it stays that way. The same goes for just about everything else that folks have tried to bring – blankets, clothes, drinks. Clearly the mentality is that the activists will be gone soon, so might as well make rank-and-file officers confront people over every slice of pizza that comes through the entrance.

To darken the mood a bit, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy allegedly cut off power to the trapezoid for a few hours this afternoon. It's reportedly back on now – and that wasn't going to stop the 7pm General Assembly anyway – but the perceived symbolic “lights out” gesture was a real psychological bombshell. On top of that, some remaining Occupiers say they've been told that Dewey will close at 11pm this evening. That could be a loose deadline like last night's vague threat, which resulted in little more than a rally dance party and two arrests. Or it could be the final kibosh. This is what a boiling point looks like.

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