Heavy police presence and an early-morning standoff with officers that resulted in nearly 150 arrests yesterday hasn’t prompted the Occupy Boston protesters to flee the scene — it’s only made them more determined.
“I’m more committed now, if anything,” said Susan Teshu of Cambridge. “There is a good possibility that what happened will bring more supporters.”
Teshu’s friend Catherine Brady was moved by the arrests she saw on YouTube and on the news, which prompted her to come out yesterday and hold signs in support of Occupy Boston.
“If police are planning on making more arrests, then we will need more people to come and be a part of this,” said Brady.
Organizers at Tent City Square said supporters came from as far as Rhode Island and New York City following Monday's mayhem to stand with the occupation.
Members of New York’s Wall Street movement even showed up with cake as protesters who had been arrested filed out of Boston courthouses.
“You don’t give up ground,” said Bob Funke, an army veteran from Veterans For Peace. “I think what happened will bring more people.”
Less than a day after officers infiltrated a second camp setup, arresting protesters and tearing down tents, the group posted that they are rebuilding their original occupied site and “remain focused on the central purpose of this movement.”
“Tearful reunions and sober reflection have characterized our day here as we seek to land on our feet after the events of early this morning,” the group said in a statement.
Some protesters occupying court
Some of the Occupy Boston protesters who were arrested early yesterday morning remained defiant as they waited to face a judge and said the police response “shocked” them.
“It’s not a crime to gather and raise your voice,” said Khury Petersen-Smith, 29, of Dorchester. Petersen-Smith was one of the scores arrested on the Greenway. “For more than a week Occupy Boston
hasn’t hurt anybody. It’s been a peaceful gathering and … such a violent response is shameful.”
Petersen-Smith was one of the protesters who was arraigned yesterday on charges of unlawful assembly and trespassing. Most were released after paying a $50 fine.
A total of 141 protesters were arrested when police moved in after the group refused requests to leave the Greenway section between Pearl and Congress streets.
The arrested women were released soon after being booked and were expected to be arraigned today and tomorrow.
Police on Twitter and in person asked the group to move and consolidate on its original spot in Dewey Square. Police cited a $150,000 enhancement to that park that would be destroyed by the new camp.
That reasoning was not sufficient for some attorneys who volunteered their services for the protesters at the courthouse.
“I think it’s a lot cheaper to redo that grass than hire 200 officers in the middle of the night,” said Kevin Barron, a Boston attorney. “It’s a public space. It’s where you’re supposed to protest.”
Barron said he wanted to volunteer for protesters because “it’s the right cause.” -Michael Naughton/Metro
Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear.