Occupy Boston camp quiet after deadline passes

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 09, 2011 10:53 AM

BOSTON (Reuters) - Some protesters were clearing debris and flattening tents on Friday morning at the Occupy Boston camp following a raucous but mostly peaceful night of demonstrations after a deadline to move out slipped by.

Despite the deadline, police did not take steps overnight to forcibly remove the protesters, who contend the U.S. economic system no longer works to the benefit of most Americans.

Mayor Thomas Menino on Thursday had ordered the protesters to clear the camp by midnight, after a judge ruled they did not have the right to occupy Dewey Square in the city's financial district.

Protesters had then spent much of the day taking down tents some had lived in since October, with many saying they wanted to avoid the risk of arrest.

During the early morning hours hundreds of protesters poured into the street in front of the camp and two were arrested when they wouldn't get out of a tent in the middle of the road, police said.

By Friday morning, the number of tents pitched on the public park had shrunk by at least half, with some protesters still packing up and sweeping the area.

A handful of police remained on the outskirts of the Dewey Square camp and traffic was moving normally during Friday's morning commute.

On the Occupy Boston website a message said "We're still here!" and notified protesters of an evening meeting to discuss the future of the movement.

City officials have not yet announced any further plans to clear the camp and remaining tents.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which started in New York's financial district in September, spread across the country during the autumn, with camps sprouting up in many cities.

Local authorities in many locales subsequently lost patience with the encampments, alleging in several cases that they posed sanitation and public safety problems, and cleared out the camps in cities including New York and Los Angeles, arresting hundreds.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Additional reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Jerry Norton)