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sillyamerican

As I finished up at work yesterday noticed my Twitter feed was blowing up with Occupy Boston and Boston Police hashtags. Spent the next couple hours frantically refreshing trying to get info about what was going on.

With lots of accusations of police brutality and media conspiracy I thought I would wait until the morning and read up on what happened so I could get a more complete picture – let me be clear, I am not unbiased: if I was home right now I would be there alongside protestors.

Twelve hours later, after hundreds of riot cops were dispatched and 100 arrests took place – a google search of “occupy boston” pulls up a handful of articles, and no coverage whatsoever on  huffington post, cnn and fox news homepages. However, Google “Fenway riots” and you get pages upon pages of relevant articles.

I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but it sure seems like everyone is ignoring this in hopes that it goes away. Similar protests are taking place in more than 120 locations in the US, and it’s members are no media dummies – check out the Occupy Boston blog – no rants, just concise calls to action, press releases and images

Most comprehensive article I found was off boston.com. Excerpt:

Masny-Latos, who was on scene as a legal observer, said no protesters fought with police. She said police could have employed a technique routinely used at other protests – police approach a protester, tell them they are violating the law, and the protester then submits to being taken into custody – and still achieved their goal of clearing the area.

“They really attacked,’’ Masny-Latos said of the police. “They used force that was completely unnecessary. … It was just brutal. I have no idea why they arrested us with such force.’’

To her shock, Masny-Latos herself was among those arrested. She said Boston police usually respect the legal observers the guild routinely dispatches to public protests.

However, even though she was wearing a green hat with the words, “legal observer’’ clearly visible, Masny-Latos said, she was the second person arrested by police.

“It was very surprising,’’ she said of being arrested. “Boston police usually respect our legal observers. And they usually leave us alone. … I was legal observing. I wasn’t even chanting anything.’’

“Four officers grabbed me and dragged me,’’ she said. “I begged them to stop, [told them that that] they were hurting me. I have no idea why they arrested us with such force.’’

Mayor Mennino’s response was that he agreed with protestors’ cause, but they couldn’t “tie up a city.” Two am on a Tuesday? Tying up the city? Come on now, Boston is no Hong Kong.

What bothers me the most is that I expect Boston to do the right thing, particularly when it comes to protecting those who are exercising their right to free speech. I’m always drunkenly bragging about Massachusetts being the best state, because people there value progression and intelligent discussion – and I believe this. So a police response so disproportional feels like a low betrayal.

It’s not often I feel let down by my city, but I do today.

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