Police have evicted Occupy Boston protesters from Boston’s Dewey Square, where hundreds have camped out since Sept. 30, The Associated Press reported.
Police started clearing away tents at 5 a.m. this morning, according to the AP, and arrested 46 protesters who wouldn’t leave on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct. The eviction occurred peacefully, Bloomberg Businessweek reported, with a member of Occupy Boston’s media team praising the police for not using pepper spray or excessive force.
Mayor Thomas Menino had ordered the Occupy protesters to leave by midnight on Dec. 8, but the crowd at the park swelled to more than 1,500 people as the deadline loomed, and the police did not take action until today, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. “We wanted to avoid confrontation,” Police Commissioner Edward Davis told Bloomberg Businessweek.
More from GlobalPost: Occupy Boston: Future in doubt
According to the Boston Globe:
Davis said they spent weeks planning and refining their strategy for how they would move in to end the protest, and said that they learned a lot from speaking with police chiefs across the country, especially Philadelphia’s police chief Charles Ramsey.
“They stressed community relations, they stressed transparency, and so it was really going back to our roots as a community policing department and applying the lessons we learned in the neighborhoods in developing relationships with the protestors,” Davis told the Boston Globe.
Boston Police Superintendent William Evans told the Boston Globe he had gotten to know some of Occupy Boston’s core members over the past two months, even giving out his personal cell phone number to them, and that had helped maintain order. “There’s a great group of kids down there at Occupy Boston,” he said. “When we needed help, I called them, they called me, and together we were able to get situations that could have gotten out of control back to normal.”
“You cannot evict an idea whose time has come,” Occupy Boston said in a statement it released today, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. “Boston Occupiers will persist in rejecting a world created by and for the 1 percent. We will continue to challenge Wall Street’s occupation of our government.”