At 4:45 am, as many protesters were concluding the raid would not come, one occupier used the people’s mic to convey a simple message: “they’re here”.
Atlantic Ave was quickly cleared by police, with all of the property in front of the Federal Reserve building closed to pedestrians. Walls of officers forced people across the intersection to the walkway in front of South Station. Some asked the police why they weren’t being allowed to watch from across the street, with no response. Trucks encircled the camp, preventing outside observers from having any clear line of sight. Side streets were thoroughly closed off, blocking access to any potential views of the camp.
The Boston Herald’s Christine McConville and The Phoenix’s Chris Faraone were both apparently denied media access to the eviction. Ms. McConville could be seen pacing the median strip on Summer St., while Faraone let off several clearly displeased tweets.
Arrests happened quickly. Within one hour of arrival, forty occupiers were arrested, according to Jason of Open Media Boston. They will be held over the weekend, all over the city.
At least twelve women, including at least one legal observer, were taken to District C6, and are being charged with trespassing.
A group of men entered the street and sat down, arms linked, as a show of solidarity. Refusing easy arrests, the protesters were hauled into a police wagon that backed up almost to them. A Public Works truck was attempting to leave Atlantic Ave when it was blocked by an older woman, standing by herself, was also arrested.
Five men sat in front of a front-end loader, refusing to move, and were arrested at approximately 5:45 am. The front-end loader began to be used to demolish the camp at 6:50. The commanding officer on the scene, after attempting to negotiate with the men, charged them with resisting arrest and informed them they would not be able to be released on bail from District D-4.
As protesters were being arrested, three officers, with bright LED flashlights, held their flashlights to cover their badges and shone lights in the lenses of cameras, including those of the Occupy Boston Livestream, in a weak attempt to deter the recording of arrests.
One officer in particular was seen looking at the protesters and hysterically laughing. He did so continuously. At one point, he was overheard joking about having hand grenades that he was going to use.
As the protesters in front of South Station became louder, the police presence at the corner of Atlantic and Summer grew from three officers to twenty. Protesters openly shared their disdain with the police. One female officer temporarily retreated in tears multiple times, according to Robin Jacks.
Four women locked arms and entered the street shortly after sunrise and were promptly arrested, but rocked the truck from inside, mocking an attempted escape, for several minutes.
Unlike many evictions around the country, the Boston Police Department evicted occupiers with relative peace. However, police were prepared with trucks purported to be full of riot gear, as well as a pickup-mounted LRAD, or Long Range Acoustic Device, also known as a sound cannon. The Boston Police demonstrated clear strategy in their eviction. Just before the eviction, at most only 200 people were occupying the square.
At 8:05, a truck labeled “Graffiti Busters” began demolishing the mural of signs on the north wall of Dewey Square, even as Greenway officials are considering a permanent structure honoring the occupation and its significance to the Greenway’s now-famous parcel.