Occupy Boston: “They came down with dogs, batons, riot gear, scare tactics”
12 October 2011
The World Socialist Web Site spoke to protesters at the Occupy Boston site on Tuesday following the brutal police raid on protesters the night before. (See “Boston police arrest 100 anti-Wall Street protesters”)
Brendon witnessed the arrests. “I saw police throw women to the ground and beat Veterans for Peace,” he said. “I saw the police tell the press to go away before they proceeded with their antics. It was the most fascist thing I’ve ever seen.
“In the afternoon I saw these seven unmarked cars filled with arrogant police officers. They flashed their IDs, like they were FBI, and taunting us, like they were saying, ‘You’re cooked, guys.’ And then they all drove into the Fed building. The police commissioner had said they would dismantle both camps if we didn’t remove that one by midnight.”
“It’s an autonomous action,” Brendon stressed. “And it’s Occupy Boston, not Occupy Dewey Square. I was appalled. There was talk here last night about whether we should move and I said, ‘People, it’s Occupy Boston.’ No one has the right to tell anybody they can’t pitch their tent.
“The police just threw the tents in the dumpster. And I’m sure people lost other possessions.”
Lisa and Bob were standing along Atlantic Avenue Tuesday, and passersby honked their horns in support as they drove by. Bob told us, “I wasn’t here last night, but I have spoken to people that were here and I know that the Veterans for Peace got in front of the kids to try and protect them. And at least one 74-year-old was knocked to the ground. Basically, what I’m looking at is total act of cowardice on the part of the police department.
“There was absolutely no reason for them to do that. This morning they were talking about the $150,000 worth of improvements they’ve made [on the area protesters were driven from]. When I was there yesterday I saw one plant that was accidentally stepped on with three occupiers around it discussing how they were going to replace that plant. But when the police went in, they destroyed that park and then they blamed it on the protesters.
“It was a disgusting act of cowardice and they are going to try to blame everybody else. And it was [Police Commissioner] Davis’s fault and all the people that went in there and did that. They went in there with dogs.”
Lisa added, “They came down with dogs, batons, riot gear, scare tactics. It was just disgraceful!”
“All for a bunch of kids that were sitting on the grass,” Bob said. “And that’s what they got for sitting on the grass. The police should pay for everything in that park.”
Lisa said, “[Mayor Thomas] Menino came on the news last night and said that the protesters were welcome, and that the police weren’t going to disturb them. I don’t think it came from Menino. I don’t know where it came from, but I don’t think it came from him, maybe from higher up.”
“Davis was the one bragging about it this morning,” Bob added, “So he looked like a big ape, like he was saying, ‘We’re going to show power.’ Well, he showed power and, guess what?—he pissed a lot of people off. Everybody I spoke to on the train when I came up this morning was ticked off.”
Lisa said she felt the actions of the police would mobilize other protesters. “Just like in New York,” she said, “these tactics are going to galvanize everyone. Like on Wall Street, when the police started brutalizing people, more people started coming in.”
Bob related what was motivating the protests: “I’ve never seen a situation like today when CEOs can get a bonus for driving a company into the ground. I think it is astounding that more people haven’t picked up on that. We should seize their assets. They’re sitting there playing with it in the money markets, and people are out here hungry, they’re starving.
“Children are going to bed hungry at night. As long as one child in this country goes to bed hungry while some clown makes 60 million bucks for sitting in the top of a building—that’s garbage. But they’ve got to have more, more, more. How much more can they take?”