Arroyo: Cost of not supporting Occupy Boston could be greater than cost of policing it

Arroyo speaks at Occupy Boston.

Local unions came out swinging in favor of Occupy Boston today. At an afternoon rally, the final speaker wasCity Councilor Felix Arroyo, himself a former organizer for the SEIU. Afterwards, Arroyo was asked about Council President Steve Murphy's comments this morning that he's worried about an estimated $2-million-a-month cost for police overtime and about the arrival of "professional agitators."

Arroyo said he has not seen any figures from the police department yet on the costs of patrolling the occupation, or Murphy's comments, so he said he could not really comment on either.

But, Arroyo said, "The question is, though, what the cost is to the city if we don't change our economic practices now, what is the cost then and that's the lense I hope we [use to] look at this, to say what is the cost to all of us if we continue on this track, if we continue on the track where 99% of the population is essentially struggling and 1% has all our wealth."

He added: "I believe that the American Dream as it was taught to me is really the ability to care for your family and to be able to provide for your family and to hope that your children will have a better opportunity than you did. I think that's what these people are looking for, an opportunity to fulfill that dream, by working hard. They're not looking for handouts, they're looking for an opportunity to get some work. I believe in that message.

Arroyo said he also couldn't comment directly on Murphy's fears of "professional agitators" moving into Occupy Boston, in part because he said he didn't even know what "a professional agitator" is. But he said he saw nothing sinister at Occupy Boston. "What you see here today is a mix, a mix in age, a mix in terms of levels of education, a mix in professions, a mix in gender, a mix in race, and, this is the America I grew up in, and they're all here today saying, 'we want a shot at the American dream.' "

SEIU 1199 Vice President Enid Eckstein at Occupy Boston.

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Good Entry

You should send that to the "Write the Next STUPID F$&KING RIGHT-WING MEME About #OccupyBoston" contest. It might have already been submitted though.

Arroyo was not an organizer

Arroyo was not an organizer at SEIU. He was their political director which means he worked with all the politicians. Very different than organizer which he is fond of referring to himself as.

It's obvious some people have

It's obvious some people have no idea what they are talking about. I fail to see how this stance is any different then what he's done most of his life, which is support Unions and working class families.

Actually He WAS there last

Actually He WAS there last week there's pictures of it on fb one shouldnt make claims that are so easily dis-proven. BUT also it should be noted that anyone that wants to support "occupyboston" this week that wasnt there last week is MORE then welcome you know why? The idea of movements like this is that they want to grow. #organizing101

my brother

In my experience Felix and his father before him have always been supporters of the working class not sure how this is an election time thing, if anything couldn't a move like this cost him vote with his more moderate voters? But if it is then good, he's made a choice and it seems it is to support those people who are being foreclosed on, dealing hands one with the job crisis, etc the have-nots. The real question is where are the other City Councilors in this election? Why haven't they spoken out in support of people using their American given right to voice their frustration with our government and its economic policies? It is not a time to be quiet if you are an elected official don't hide make your stance clear. Who will have the courage to take on these banks?

ugh

Felix will go the way the wind blows... like any good politician. If it'll get him votes, he'll support it. It could be a kiddie pool filled with mud, and if he thinks he'll get votes for it, he'll support it.

He's what I call an opportune politician. Then again. Most politicians are like this..

welp

Mr. Arroyo just decided for me which incumbent would be getting replaced with Flaherty on my ballot.

Maybe the pols should realize those out there in tents protesting aren't the voting RESIDENTS of this city, who aren't pleased with libraries and schools closing due to lack of funds, but then $2mil is being spend on this nonsense. Now a food truck festival that has been planned for months gets cancelled because of it. Ironically, the food trucks probably had permits, and would be the clearest definition of "99% small businesses" that these tent people think they represent.

If $2M was spent...

...(and I seriously doubt it was) it was spent busting heads Tuesday night to save $150K in flowers. That's some smart use of money.

People protesting are registered voters in Boston. These are students and job-seekers who are struggling, disaffected, frustrated. More politicians should go out there.

"Professional agitators"? Puhleeze. Isn't that what Qhaddafi said about his protests? And Mubharak? Maybe we shouldn't learn our talking points from the middle east.

$2M

$2M is the figure that's been presented as "cost of police details for one month".

I don't know if you have noticed, but there is at least 4-5 cops in dewey square sitting there every day, which is probably $80-100/hr, per person.

Also, most interviews with the OB people would suggest the majority are not Boston residents.

probably $80-100/hr, per

probably $80-100/hr, per person.

Really? I'd love a citation on that.

Even if you're also including benefits in that, wow, I gotta get me some cop work. I ended up in the wrong profession!

Yes, politicians bend like a yogi in the wind, sure, but Arroyo just got my support.

I was finally down at Occupy Boston last night. I figured I couldn't call myself a good Socialist without seeing for myself what's going on. It was interesting. I've wondered for two years where our anger was with respect to the raping we took from the banking and CEO thieves and this is it.

I'm glad its going on, but I wonder about its actual effectiveness. Dewey Park was far smaller than I'd imagined. I keep wondering if I'd done more effective work in my time with DSA than this. I keep wondering how much more effective a "serial call in" to targeted local politicians might be than someone running around announcing there was going to be meditation in the spiritual tent in 10 minutes.

Still, we'll see how it develops, I guess.

slow man indeed

slow man the names says it all. Also how do you know where the other incumbents and Flahery stand on this issue? Are you saying Arroyo is the ONLY councilor in the race that supports this?? Thats too bad, I wish the others had the courage to stand with him in that he case he may just be the only one of them who IS getting my vote this time around. Also I'm not a fan of the whole divide and conquer thing you got going on. Wanting the city to have money and supporting Occupy Boston are not mutually exclusive ideas. I am a father of 3 who is working a late night shift job as a security guard at a local hospital and I have made it down to Occupy Boston in solidarity now 3 times only for quick visits no longer then 30 minutes but I think anyone who has knocked these young people they should go down for themselves I appreciate their sacrifice. This issue is bigger then those ppl who can be on the front-lines of the protest every day this is about me being one medical emergency away from financial ruin, and I know I am not alone. Something has got to give and although I like many of us am not sure this is what will work I will take this approach over doing NOTHING any day. Kudos to Arroyo

sacrifice?

sacrifice for what? Please tell me what living in a tent on the city's dime is accomplishing.

They aren't affecting "the 1%'s" bottom line, so my guess is that those people probably could care less about this encampment. They probably look out the window from their cushy top floor corner office and laugh, "look at those morons in tents down there in the rain/cold/wind." Maybe if they were organizing mass defaults on loans/credit, or mass withdraws from the banks it would actually serve a purpose or make an impact. Simply camping out is not doing anything other than looking foolish to anyone smart enough to notice.

The "movement" is all bark and no bite. The only reason the pols are down there is because the unions are supporting it, and the pols need the union votes to stay in office.

They are getting people to talk about it

which is a good thing. Publicizing a perceived problem is a good way to get more people involved in finding a solution. At some point, this will start to work against the movement, and they will indeed need to develop some additional strategies if they want to continue to frame the public debate. But for now, this is effective.

Not worth addressing your concerns

You clearly aren't coming at the questions you pose without an answer already in your head...so why ask the questions?

Please tell me what living in a tent on the city's dime is accomplishing.

Please tell me how any of the people in Dewey Square are living "on the city's dime".

.

no permits for occupation (which cost money)

not paying for power (electricity isn't free)

not paying for details (you could argue they don't need them, however I'm sure there's some law suggesting that gatherings require them based on # of people)

I'm sure there are other costs being left out, like increased revenue from the events that have been cancelled.

16-19.3 Permit for Use of

16-19.3 Permit for Use of Park Land for Demonstrations.

No person or organization shall hold or sponsor a demonstration, as herein defined, upon park land unless a permit therefor has first been obtained from the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation. The Commissioner shall honor all requests for such permits, except that the Commissioner may specify the time, place and manner of the demonstration in order to accommodate competing demands for public use of park land and to protect the public safety and convenience. The permit shall require that the permittee be responsible for restoration, rehabilitation and cleanup of the park land which is the subject of the permit. The term “demonstration” shall include demonstrating, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding of vigils and all other like forms of conduct which involve the communication or expression of views or grievances engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which has the effect, intent or propensity to attract a substantial crowd of onlookers or participants. The term “demonstration” shall not include casual park land use which does not have the intent and propensity to attract a substantial crowd of onlookers or participants.

As a condition of permit issuance, the Commissioner shall require in the nature of a fee the filing of a bond with a satisfactory surety payable to the Department of Parks and Recreation in an amount sufficient, as determined by the Commissioner, to cover costs of restoration, rehabilitation and cleanup of the park land which is the subject of the permit. In lieu of a bond, the permittee may elect to deposit cash equal to the amount of the required bond. Any amount not actually used to restore or rehabilitate the park land shall be returned to the permittee. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of three hundred ($300.00) dollars, and shall be liable for the cost of restoration, rehabilitation and cleanup of the park land used for the demonstration and the reasonable costs of collection of the fee.

I'm thinking they probably don't plan to pay for any of this...

News flash - Pete Nice gives police benefit of doubt!

I am going to assume the Boston Police did not act until the Greenway people asked them to.

Pete, you always assume the best when it comes to the BPD. Often they deserve it - but no one bats 1.000.

You are generally calm-spoken and polite in these forums...but you also are very clearly partisan when it comes to the topic of law enforcement.

I think that it's been posited multiple times that the DCR does not have jurisdiction over the Greenway - does anyone have a cite to support such a claim? Additionally, how does the legitimacy of a municipal rule stack up against the constitutional right of peacable free assembly?

I also know how they operate.

And I even added the word assume. They have legal teams that include ACLU input on basically every operation like this one. The ACLU actually helps them write up a lot of their policies when it comes to issues like this.

Individual officers screw up all the time. Operation plans and decision making for plans like the one here are usually pretty well thought out.

Thats all I'm saying. And my resonse is usually to people show say things like "I bet the cops did this", when chances are they probably didn't.

...Mr. Arroyo decided

By slowman4130 - 10/14/11 - 6:05 am

Mr. Arroyo just decided for me which incumbent would be getting replaced with Flaherty on my ballot.

Maybe the pols should realize those out there in tents protesting aren't the voting RESIDENTS of this city, who aren't pleased with libraries and schools closing due to lack of funds, but then $2mil is being spend on this nonsense. Now a food truck festival that has been planned for months gets cancelled because of it. Ironically, the food trucks probably had permits, and would be the clearest definition of "99% small businesses" that these tent people think they represent.

Steven Murphy said $2 million. He was mistaken, if not lying. He cited a number 500% bigger than the actual cost $0.4

Consider making him the incumbent you don't give your vote to.

So Arroyo and Murphy want to save the City money...

Both Arroyo and Murphy -- and poor-people champions Ayanna Pressley and Charles Yancey and all the other City Councilors -- recently voted for two huge corporate welfare packages: Liberty Mutual ($24 million City money, with City approval triggering $22.5 million state money) and Vertex Pharma + Fallon Development ($12 million City money, triggering $110 million state money). There was absolutely no benefit from these give-aways; no one will be hired that wouldn't have been hired anyway if the corporations needed more employees; no one would have taken their marbles and left town; no one would have decided they couldn't build their project. It was just gravy for the corporations, and for Mayor Tom Menino and Gov. Deval Patrick, who got some fat campaign donations out of it. And the Councilors voted for it to please Menino (who can withhold services from their districts or get them trounced by an M-hack in the next election) and the state Democratic establishment. Not for "job creation," not for "economic development," not for a few bucks for "youth summer jobs" (how many youths could have been hired for $160 million dollars??) although this is what they will brag they got. It's pure demagoguery.

I hope the Boston voters rip the curtain away from these pols and hold them accountable -- by replacement.

And I hope that Occupiers will look at the voting records of pols they allow to address them and thus to share in Occupy's legitimacy. Corporate welfare is a keystone of the empire of corporate greed, political corruption and economic inequality that Occupy is there to topple.