Protesters at Occupy Boston’s encampment can sleep with some relief from the fear of early morning eviction — for now.
Judge Frances McIntyre ruled in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday that Boston officials and police are temporarily restrained from swooping in and clearing out the tents at Dewey Square until a further hearing scheduled on Dec. 1.
“It’s a victory for us, it’s a victory for the Occupy [movements] as a whole, and it’s a victory for the people,” said protester Ariel Oshinsky.
A stipulation in the order allows evictions under emergency circumstances such as fires, health issues and “outbreaks of violence.”
Oshinsky said this move, while temporary, sets a precedent moving forward.
“It says that bullying free speech into silence is wrong,” she said.
City representatives told McIntyre they had “no plans” to evict campers and argued giving protesters advance notice prior to an eviction would endanger police and the public.
Mayor Thomas Menino told the Globe he didn’t understand why the group took it to court.
“I think we’ve been pretty good with [them] and the police department has shown a lot of restraint down there,” he said.
The hearing came a day after evictions at the occupation in New York City.
“I definitely feel more safe,” said K. Eric Martin, one of four plaintiffs named on the suit, representing Occupy Boston.
Martin said since the raid on Oct. 11, when the occupation tried to expand beyond Dewey Square, leading to hundreds of arrests, the slightest nighttime siren sound startles him.
“Maybe I’ll get to sleep more soundly,” he said.
Hearing on a preliminary injunction scheduled for Dec. 1
Judge ordered city officials and occupiers meet for mediation session.
Cops can still arrest individual lawbreakers as necessary.
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Can’t remove tents or other belongings.