It wasn’t a pretty sight. I have to say it was nothing surprising, it has been going on around the world for a long time.
The night of the Occupy Boston raid at Dewey Square has been imminent for a week or so now and while most were predicting Sunday, we all know it would at least be during the weekend. For two straight days, myself and many photojournalists, videographers and writers had been covering this. I was exhausted and the minutes were being confused for hours. Thursday night the radios were quiet, and a few journalists and I were contemplating whether or not to go home or not. At about 4:30… nearly an hour before the raid, many journalists left the scene… much to what I believe was the Boston Police’s intentions. I received an alert at about 5:30am when the raid began, and it was that Dewey Square was being raided. I was in disbelief, and after 48 hrs of non-stop, I was angry.
Possibly the fastest I have ever driven.
I drove down to Boston 37miles from Salem, NH. I have never driven my car that fast before. As soon as I arrived, I was not surprised at what I was seeing. People and press were completely blocked off. I heard from other journalists, frustrated and tired, that they were kicked out and that there was one still and video pool, while the rest were designated to a press pool as if this was an Obama political speech.
What happened was wrong.
It was 100%, unconstitutional. No one was violent, and journalists were not interfering with police duty. Many journalists I was with were told to go behind the line on the sidewalk. As they cleaned up the the field, they continued to bar any press from going inside, even gave me trouble as I tried to go up to the barricades they put up themselves. We are not supposed to be ‘limited’ in how many press can show up to a public event, especially something that has to do with civil disobedience and rallies, etc. We are given distinct and specific rights as professional photojournalists, ie. press… to do our jobs and do it safely. We are trained to be safe and professional, while recording the images necessary to document history. When a group of Police officers crowds around you when you are on the ground trying to photograph something happening, you feel helpless and completely overpowered as I did. Being backed up into a sidewalk is not fair and also illegal.
I do want to mention the BPD specifically.
I think we can all agree, across the country with the amount of people they had to deal with, the BPD was nearly perfect in there efforts to reach a common dialogue with the protestors and press since the beginning of this occupation. This was the only problem I had ever had with them personally. Having talked to many of the officers they are in fact people too and completely understand the movement. Some seemed to even agree. That is admirable to me and gives me hope that they are not only following orders, but are doing it the best they can without hurting anyone or revoking anyones rights. Let’s hope in the future this specific event does not happen again. I really appreciate their efforts and professionalism.
(Boston, MA)- This afternoon over 500 people took part in Take Back Boston’s new surge. Across the country groups are forming in opposition of Washington D.C. leaders, Wall Street and Bank of America for lack of tax payment, economic hardships and other related topics on Friday September 30th, 2011.
(Boston, MA)- Last night marked the beginning of yet another area of in the United States where formal gatherings are taking place around the country. Like OccupyWallSt and others, OccupyBoston has come together to set official dates of protest and meetings across Boston to spread awareness of the many issues facing America’s youth and general population. From Wall Street to the homeless, frustrated people came out to speak their voice in Boston Common at about 7.30pm. “This is only the beginning”, remarked someone in the crowd. “What are we changing!” Yelled another as the frustration builds over the issues that are presented.