Cops arrest 46 as they clear Occupy Boston

The Boston occupation today became the latest protest encampment to receive the clean treatment. After the mayor of Boston ordered all Occupy protesters to clear Dewey Square by midnight Thursday, a portion of the protesters packed up and left — but others stayed … to be forcibly removed and/or arrested today. The New York Post reports:

Police officers swept through Dewey Square early today tearing down tents at the Occupy Boston encampment and arresting dozens of protesters, bringing a peaceful end to the 10-week demonstration.

Officers began moving into the encampment at about 5 a.m. to “ensure compliance with the trespassing law,” police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said. The city had set a deadline for midnight Thursday for the protesters to abandon the site but police took no action until early today.

The protesters were “very accommodating” to the officers, Driscoll said. Forty-six people were arrested on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct, police said. No injuries were reported.

The Boston occupation was one of the oldest; it began in late September and as many as 150 activists lived in the encampment at one time or another. Compared with the conduct upon arrest of Occupiers in other cities, the Boston protesters today were a model of comportment.

Nevertheless, that yet another occupation is cleared should come as good news to anyone who has been troubled by the violence, vandalism and public health risks that have characterized the Occupy movement. As a convenient point of reference (to which I never tire of linking), the number of violence-related Occupy incidents has reached 417.

In the words of Scholastic News, “All Americans have the right to speak out. But as these protests continue, mayors in some cities are worried about the strain on their cities’ resources. For example, extra police officers and cleanup crews are needed to make sure the gatherings remain peaceful and orderly.” Thankfully, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino just ensured he no longer has to worry — and, after today, Boston police officers and cleanup crews will, I hope, be able to return to their ordinary workloads. Nice.