After Confrontation With Phila. Mayor, Occupiers Go To Court

By Phillip Martin

Dec. 1, 2011

occupy boston


At a Nov. 17 protest, a demonstrator holds a sign reading, "You cannot evict an idea whose time has come," a slogan used by occupations across the country as they face possible or actual action from law enforcement. The city of Boston will argue in court today that it should have the right to remove the occupation when it sees fit. (qwrrty/Flickr)

BOSTON — City officials and members of Occupy Boston went to court Thursday morning for a hearing on an injunction, filed on behalf of Occupy Boston, that would require the city to give protestors notice before taking any eviction action. The city is arguing for the right to evict demonstrators immediately if public safety and health issues arise.

But on Wednesday night’s Greater Boston, occupier Philip Anderson says the group has issued a declaration of occupation — meaning no matter what’s decided in court today, demonstrators in Dewey Square have no intention of leaving.

"Police raids don’t get rid of the occupation or the movement in that city. In a lot of ways, they reinvigorate that occupation and that will happen in Boston as well," Anderson said. "If the police make the decision to evict us, throw out personal property, throw out books — which happened in a few occupations especially in Oakland — we’ll still be back," Anderson said.

The hearing is set to start at 9 a.m. at the Suffolk Superior Court.

Members of Occupy Boston engaged in another confrontation Wednesday night at a forum at Harvard's Institute of Politics — although that one was with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who said he had no choice but to oust that city's occupiers from City Hall property this week.

"Some of the conditions that we were seeing—untenable and unsustainable from a health and safety standpoint. For us at least, this was not an eviction," said Nutter. "This was a relocation. They’re literally going across the street. We have a project and if we didn’t move forward we would put 800 plus jobs at risk in the city of Philadelphia."

But the anger that greeted Mayor Nutter’s decision in Philadelphia was echoed in Cambridge. Toward the end of his comments, before a full audience, Mayor Nutter was suddenly interrupted by a now familiar Occupy Wall Street protocol and protest.

"Mic check, mic check!"

Harvard Institute of Politics Director Trey Grayson told the protestors they would be removed, and three were. Another Occupy activist stayed behind and peppered Mayor Nutter with questions about the police action in his city this week.

With New York, LA and Philadelphia tent cities uprooted, Boston is one of the last Occupy Wall Street encampments still standing. But that could soon change depending on the outcome of the court hearing.

WGBH's Greater Boston contributed to this report.

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