Supporters rallied at Dewey Square on Thursday night, in anticipation of eviction by the Boston Police. When Superintendent William Evans announced to the crowd that the police would not be evicting the encampment during the night, supporters were overjoyed.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Thomas Menino gave the campers until midnight to clear the area. If they did not comply, he said, “we’ll take further action.”
After Superior Court Judge Frances A. McIntyre rejected Occupy Boston’s standing injunction and ruled, on December 7th, to lift the temporary restraining order the group held against the city of Boston, supporters hurried to plan for what they assumed would be an immediate eviction.
Throughout the day on Thursday, occupiers were busy moving essential equipment away from Dewey Square in a Uhaul, as well as a majority of their tents. As night fell, the central area of the Rose-Kennedy Greenway was no longer a campsite, but a muddy field.
Occupiers have promised to assist in the clean-up and re-sodding of the Greenway in the future, although the Greenway Conservancy has previously rejected such offers.
In the hours leading up to the potential eviction, the mood at the encampment was mixed at times. Many, including a group preparing to hold a dance party in the middle of it all, were defiant and excited. Others were less joyful, struggling with the fact that the physical incarnation of ‘Occupy’ would soon be no more.
Some small squabbles over tactics broke out, including arguments over the aforementioned dance party and the setting up of barricades in order to inhibit the advance of the Boston Police Department. Conflicts such as these remained minimal, and were usually resolved within a matter of minutes.
People who could not or did not want to risk arrest rallied on Atlantic Ave. as the midnight deadline came and went. At one point, someone ran into the street and started dancing. Others soon followed, with a spontaneously-formed drum circle and a brass marching band – complete with tuba, trumpet and bass drum – providing a soundtrack.
In the end, when Superintendent Evans made his announcement, a mixture of happiness and relief settled into Occupy Boston as the protesters realized their camp would live for at least another day.