Another voice asserted that the Occupy movement peacefully “stands[s] up for inalienable human rights,” and urged listeners to act in that spirit even if met with police force.
Dozens of police deployed to Dewey Sq. helped to remove the sink. Several officers proceeded to carry and load it from the encampment’s food tent into a police van, but an estimated 75 occupiers linked arms around the vehicle and resisted for twenty minues before finally surrendering the sink to authorities.
In addition to the sink, three human beings were also taken into custody. Two were charged with disorderly conduct and the third for assaulting a police officer. There were also several claims of police violence towards various occupiers including Suzi Pietroluongo, who was punched and stepped on. Pietroluongo holds, however, that the incident may have been accidental.
Occupiers were granted a victory at a court hearing earlier that day, when Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre chose to extend the temporary restraining order against the City of Boston. Her final decision will be made by December 15th. Until then, the Boston Police Department is forbidden from evicting the Dewey Square encampment; a premature raid would risk contempt of court. A press release from Occupy Boston claims that the confiscation of property also conflicts with the ruling: “The order also prevents officials from removing tents and personal property.”
However, the Boston Police Department maintains that “building materials” are not allowed in the camp. When questioned about the term, one officer said this included “anything you buy at Home Depot.”
One of Occupy Boston’s main concerns at the hearing Thursday was that police had prevented – and, at times, sabotaged – attempts at improving safety and living conditions within the camp. Witness Kristopher Eric Martin testified that the police had repeatedly confiscated winterization and safety equipment like tents, insulating materials, and blankets. Earlier in the week, Boston Police chose to confiscate a wooden pallet that was brought to Dewey Square, citing safety issues. The Occupation utilizes wooden pallets in order to form its major walkways between tents, and the pallet being brought in was intended to replace a broken one.
News of both Wednesday’s pallet incident and Thursday’s sink farce spread rapidly on the internet, where a number of Twitter users were quick to mock what they viewed as a patently absurd affair. A photo of Police Lieutenant John Pike––now infamous for his actions against protesters at Occupy UC Davis––has emerged in which the officer pepper-sprays a sink.
Police did not say whether or not bail would be granted so that the object in custody could return to its rightful owners.