Hundreds of police officers from all over the state are gathered outside my window right now, but it turns out they're not after me -- it's Governor Deval Patrick they want. What do they want? To embarass him in front of his weekend guests: other governors from all over the country, in town for the National Governors Association (NGA) conference.
The NGA has a shindig at Fenway Park tonight; the cops are gathering at Yawkey Way and momentarily will march down to the corner of Landsdowne, where they'll rally for the cameras.
I went down and asked Patrick Rose, Secretary of the Boston Police Patrolman's Association (BPPA), what point they were making. "The disparate treatment the governor has shown to the [police] unions over three and a half years," he said. As I pressed, Rose insisted that it is not just about the paid details, over which the union has most notably butted heads with the governor. "He's going after our pensions, our collective-bargaining agreements, our health care coverage -- everything he can attack us for," Rose said. (He left out Quinn Bill funding, but I'm sure that's part of it too.)
I noted that this was coming quite soon after the BPPA endorsed Tim Cahill for governor. "This has nothing to do with Tim Cahill," Rose said, noting that unions representing some 17,000 officers statewide were at the protest. (That seemed to be true, judging from where several officers I asked said they were from.)
Rose said that they would be out protesting tomorrow night's NGA event, at Castle Island -- or wherever it gets relocated by the expected bad weather.