Dec. 5, 2011
BOSTON — Occupy Boston activists tried to bring in a fire-resistant tent into the Dewey Square encampment on Dec. 5. The effort failed when police blocked their path.
Right before noon, about 50 demonstrators surrounded by television cameras and reporters waited as the tent was wheeled toward the encampment.
Before it could be pushed across the unofficial demarcation line separating the tent city from the rest of the financial district, the police moved in.
The demonstrators complained that in court testimony last week, the city fire marshal described the camp as a fire hazard. They said they were responding to his concerns.
Occupy resident Dunkin McKenna, an unemployed physicist from the North Shore, believed that fire and safety were not the real reasons for the seizure of the tent.
“Their strategy for evicting us is to make it uncomfortable for us because they don’t want to draw the bad will of the public by forcefully shutting us down,” he said.
Boston mayor Tom Menino said the city had already made it crystal-clear to activists that they cannot stay beyond a certain point, and that a large winterized tent suggested a long-term occupation.
”The structure in Dewey Square is temporary. The point of a structure this size [is that it] becomes permanent,” Menino said. “And we said from day one, there’s no permanent structures on that site.”
But Occupy activists said that until and unless the court gives the city the authority to evict them, they will stay put through the winter and into the spring.
OCCUPY BOSTON WGBH ARCHIVE