Boston Mayor: Civil Disobedience Will Not Be Tolerated

As complaints rise over mass arrests by Boston police in the Occupy Boston protests, Mayor Thomas Menino decided to add a rather draconian note by announcing ” “Civil disobedience will not be tolerated.” It was a moment reminiscent of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announcing in the 1968 Democratic Convention protests that “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”

Of course, civil disobedience has long been a respected form of protest from Henry David Thoreau to Martin Luther King. The framers seemed keen on such rights when including in the first amendment that “Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

It is painful to watch the reaction to these protests. I remain co-lead counsel in the World Bank case (Chang) where we are still litigating the mass arrest of hundreds of innocent citizens without probable cause in Freedom Plaza and Pershing Park.

While offering passing sympathy for protester, Menino draw a bright line regarding any exercise of free speech that crosses the line into civil disobedience: “when it comes to civil disobedience, I will not tolerate civil disobedience in the city of Boston.”

Menino’s comment will only serve to heighten tensions and could be viewed as an encouragement for harsher treatment of protesters. As the home of the Boston Tea Party and John Adams, the comments seem tragically misplaced in both location and time.

Source: Think Progress

111 thoughts on “Boston Mayor: Civil Disobedience Will Not Be Tolerated”

  1. OS,

    I’ve seen that video all over the place today … a real career stopper for the cop in the red windbreaker.

    To those following the orders … the politicians will hang you out to dry … keep it in mind.

  2. SwM,

    In reference to the Washington Post article:

    The Post has gotten it yet. I’m going to draw an analogy to the Upstairs – Downstairs BBC production.

    D.C. is Downstairs. The politicians, lobbyists, admin people are all hirelings in that they do the bidding of and defend the Upstairs because that’s who pays them the big bucks. But the Upstairs folk wouldn’t think of actually sharing the Upstairs quarters with them. Occasionally they might invite Cantor or Obama to stand in the Upstairs parlor but that’s the extent of it. The Upstairs folk would never allow their children to go to the Downstairs quarters to play with the children who reside there.

    Why in the world would the OWSer’s protest Downstairs when the people responsible for the plight of this Nation reside Upstairs? The OWSers go to NYC or Boston, etc because that’s where the Upstairs folk actually live and well, … pretend, to work.

    The OWSers have stated one thing very clearly, politics doesn’t interest them … they’re aiming much higher than that.

    The Post just hasn’t accepted the fact that it’s stuck in a Downstairs town.

  3. Hypocrisy has its own elegant symmetry.

    Please post this video on as many blogs or web pages as possible.

  4. from eniobob1, October 12, 2011 at 9:02 am ‘s link…….
    ‘Singer, manager of a $17 billion hedge fund, earned the moniker “vulture capitalist” for buying the debt of Third World countries for pennies on the dollar, then using his political and legal connections to extract massive judgements to force collection — even from nations suffering from starvation and violent conflicts. Singer and his partners have used such tactics in Panama, Ecuador, Poland, Cote d’Ivoire, Turkmenistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to squeezing impoverished countries with sovereign debt schemes, Singer speculates in the oil markets, a practice which can lead to gasoline price hikes here in the United States. The revelation that Singer engages in oil speculation, and also funds Republican lawmakers opposed to oil speculation regulations, was exposed by ThinkProgress using leaked government documents. ————————————————————————————————————————————-
    So why have these people been allowed to influence those in our political infrastructure? Clearly that access is the lynchpin in the endemic repercussion to our stability economically?

    Wall Street had shifted focus to speculation rather than low risk investment…why would private speculators be allowed so much influence if this Industry is so vital and essential to the health and wealth of our Country?

    O r is this the USA’s big ‘whoops’ moment?

  5. FYI!!!
    “The campaign to marginalize and destroy the growing 99 Percent Movement is in full swing, with many in the media attempting to smear the people participating in the “occupation” protests across the country. However, several of the so-called journalists deriding, and in some cases sabotaging the movement, have paychecks thanks to a billionaire whose business practices have been scorned as among the worst of the financial elite.
    As the New York Times has documented, Paul Singer, a Republican activist and hedge fund manager worth over $900 million, has emerged as one of the most important power brokers within the GOP. Now, it appears that the reporters financed by Singer are at the forefront of efforts to tarnish the reputation of 99 Percent Movement demonstrators:”

  6. The problem is that the $$$inequality is not based on anything that is being addressed in a reasonable or lawfull manner (that would or could) lead to any tenable outcome. And if that inequality were based on hard work or something acceptable….not fraud like or theft-like behaviours…..I doubt people would be so upset. I think we have entered a time where the law itself has become so perverted and divorced from it’s initial reason for being ….that it has become a detrimental force against those who most need its protecting influence.

    In short, the legal system has become the ‘perp’….or the thing that the ‘perp’ hides behind. That is nasty.

    And the whole defunding of the domestic violence protections…..cowardly, shortsighted, spiteful and undermining to the law in general is my first reaction. I suspect after I give it more thought that my reaction will just be a big …..*Huh?*

    So maybe we are just seeing the swamp get drained on the other side, no?

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