Greenway now sick of Occupiers

The Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy now wants the city to broom Occupy Boston from Dewey Square.

After much thought and discussion, we have come to the conclusion that, as fiduciaries for public use of the Greenway, we must request that you enforce our regulations and remove the occupiers from the Greenway.

We believe that the current use by Occupy Boston is not compatible with our obligation to ensure that everyone may enjoy the Greenway, and with the spirit and letter of the rules governing use of the space.

The conservancy board actually told the mayor that back on Nov. 8, but, in an apparent nod to Maureen Feeney, didn't tell anybody else until yesterday, after a judge barred the city from evicting tent-city residents at least until a hearing on Dec. 1. Well, unless there's a public-health emergency or violence erupts.



Free tagging: 


Yes, because so many people

Yes, because so many people want to be out in that park, especially in the below 40 degree weather.

I wasn't aware the Conservancy was in the business of straw men...

They're not

> I wasn't aware the Conservancy was in the business of straw men...

They are in the business of following orders from those who call all the shots. Almost every other city already took action against occupiers -- and the 1% is obviously getting annoyed that Boston is being so dilatory in doing the same.

Really? A conspiracy theory?

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Really? A conspiracy theory? Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean "they're" out to get you.


Really, you?

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Menino publicly stated he didn't want them around for more than a week.

If you think Mumbles goons aren't applying pressure behind the scenes to everyone and anything involved to get them out, you're pretty damn stupid.

Like Woody Allen said, much

Like Woody Allen said, much of success is just showing up. Those who insinuate themselves into the workings of the machine get to pull the levers.


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Occupy Boston has brought more attention, people, life and activity to the Greenway than the Conservancy has in its entire existence. When I have been through there recently, the place seems fine, NO ONE is prevented from wandering through. It's November in New England, might we inquire what activities the Conservatantes have planned for the winter months?

Anyone live in Boston?

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The Greenway is almost always filled with activity. Every weekday people who work in the area come to read, eat lunch, or smoke. In the evenings families and couples on dates gather at the tables and benches to yell at each other or touch noses, respectively. I'm generally pessimistic about public works projects, but the Greenway is an enormous success and I would like to see it returned to the 99.9% who occasionally visit and not the 0.00001% who decided to move there for no apparent reason.

Yes, and my experience of the

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Yes, and my experience of the Greenway is that it is largely deserted except sometimes on nice days when it is warm out.

It is a glorified median strip sandwiched between six lanes of traffic.

A park which largely serves as a place for workers to take lunch is not a success, it's an abject failure along with the rest of the Big Dig.

Big Dig as "Abject Failure" - Not.

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I think that the Greenway certainly still needs some work (for example, if the money could be put together for that "Garden Under Glass", it would instantly become the most popular winter attraction in Boston - just think, tropical temperatures and humidity in the middle of January for a small entry fee), however, calling the Big Dig an "abject failure" is surely an overstatement.

For example, I have had to go from 128 in Waltham to Logan in the middle of the day several times over the last year and a half. It takes about 30 minutes (door to door). In 1995 that same trip took me 1-1.5 hours (most of that being spent on 93 and in the Callahan Tunnel). Multiplying that kind of productivity increase by lots and lots of people who use those roadways everyday (and not just to go to the airport) rules out calling the thing an abject failure. Ask any north shore or south shore trucking company and they will tell you about how "how it changed the world" (which is exactly what one guy told me - and that was just when the Williams tunnel opened to commercial traffic).

Could the Big Dig have been built better, cheaper and faster? Probably. Would I have rather seen 15 billion dollars get spent on a bonafide intercity high speed rail system and RER-type system for the area inside 495? Hell yes, but this is America, folks, and we will never have trains like that until our back is against the wall and gas prices go to >$8 (n.b., just back from UK where Shell station on in central London was getting $8.12 a gallon). But given the productivity increases associated with the Big Dig, under no circumstances can it be called an abject failure.

Big Dig induced demand

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The Williams tunnel is probably the most successful part of the project. When I talk about the Big Dig, I am speaking of the burying of I-93. I should probably have been more clear about that.

Regarding the failure of the Big Dig to solve traffic and congestion problems, well just see:

It was a $15 billion demonstration of what is now known as "The Fundamental Law of Highway Congestion".

The fundamental law is, well, fundamental.

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I absolutely agree with the premise in the Fundamental Law. Here is the thing - people are not good at appreciating non-out-of-pocket costs (by that I mean costs for which they don't immediately shell out money). For this reason, people are willing to sit in traffic burning $3-4/gal fuel, and waste tons of money doing so, but they scream bloody murder about paying even the smallest of tolls. This is why to have any hope of having a decent transportation system ("system" meaning adequate multi-modal), we will have to get to a system of demand management open road tolling (you pay more to drive when the road resources are in the greatest demand) and a substantial portion of the revenue must be dedicated to better non-single car travel. As I said, however, this will not happen unless and until such time as we have exhausted every other failed approach and our backs are against the wall.

With respect to the Big Dig, I have long believed, and someone will have empirical evidence to support this, that the biggest limitation on people commuting into Boston by car is the amount and cost of parking (which are, of course, related by supply and demand with a nice distortion caused by the cap on parking spaces in the downtown area from a now dated environmental decision). Most could care less about the traffic. I think that we will get more evidence of this when all of those surface lots in the South Boston Waterfront are covered with buildings, and any retained parking is in underground garages at double or more of the current price.

I think we're pretty much in agreement

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I think part of the problem with tolls is the psychological effect of going from $0 to some positive amount. The first penny is the hardest. It's easy to give something away for free. It's significantly harder to charge one penny -- because then you've invoked the fixed costs of dealing with money. But going from 1 cent to 2 is no big deal.

Parking is a big deal. It's another one of those costs that people often don't think much about while sitting in their car burning fuel. Every car that commutes into Boston needs a space to spend the day. That's land that isn't being used for anything productive. And Boston land is a very limited resource. You could build out parking lots to handle all the demand, but then you wouldn't have much of a city left (ugh, that's what did happen in many American cities).

Market rates for parking would be nice. For many decades there has been a enormous distortion caused by minimum parking regulations. The effect is to force developers to subsidize parking by artificially boosting the supply. And of course those costs get passed onto everyone else, in addition to the terrible impact that parking lots have on cities.

30 minutes from Waltham by car...hours by T

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but how long by T, why wasn't that improved? It takes 30 minutes to get from south station to your terminal via the silver sloth, or from Airport T to your terminal via the shuttles. And of course, the silver bus and blue line don't connect at the airport, so you cant take the silver sloth to east Boston aside from the airport.
While the state managed to make a central parking garage for drivers where they can walk to any terminal, there is no central T stop at the airport still.

A couple of things

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You might have also asked why there isn't a huge "America's Technology Highway" intermodal transportation station where the commuter rail crosses 128 near Route 20 so as to serve what is arguably one of the state's most economically vibrant areas. Instead, there is a privately run bus service from Alewife to get people from the urban core out to the tons of jobs out there - not bad, but definitely not enough.

You might remember that a big justification for the Silver Lie was to connect Roxbury and other areas served by the Silver Line to the blue collar-type jobs on the waterfront and at the airport. It was probably always bs, but it was necessary to gather enough political support to get it built. It wasn't really about connecting Eastie with Southie or anything like that.

Respecting the Blue Line, Massport wanted a central T station (ever notice the space between the Central Parking Garage and the West Garage?), and was even going to put up a good deal of money to make it happen, but the T said no thanks. Rumor had it that the local councillors and reps did not want the T moved "on-airport" because that would have somehow been detrimental to the community. Seeing as how East Boston has 3 or 4 other stops and the Wood Island stop and the new Airport stop are only a couple of hundred yards apart, I think that rationale was complete bs.

Don't worry though, the pols did eventually roll Massport for the money when they forced it to pay between 300 and 400 million dollars for the ramp system that was built at the airport (which Massport subsequently had to perform major work on because the Big Dig people built it so poorly) for the sole purpose of lowering the public price tag of the Big Dig (you'll all remember that Massport is funded by fees collected by it for the use of its facilities and does not take any state tax money, so this was "free" money for the Commonwealth). Let me be kind and say that to get a price tag that high for the ramps, there must be some gold in there somewhere.

I can see the Greenway from my window...

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and sure, people use it but not in November and not in Dewey Square. The part of the Greenway where the Occupy folks are is probably the least used parcel in terms of strolling, family activities, etc. It seems to me that the people who are annoyed by them being there are also not the people who use the Greenway, but the people who drive by it on the way home.

Deserted stretch of Greenway

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That part of the Greenway where the occupastas are has NEVER been used by the public. It was consistently deserted. Its not very scenic or practical as a recreational area.

I've been wondering. If the Greenway wasn't there,and I wish it WASN'T, where would the occupiers have set up shop? The Common? Copley Square Park? You can bet someone would have found a way to boot them out of the latter in a hurry.

The only thing

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It would be a pity if the occupiers had to leave. It is the only thing that useless, futile Greenway has ever been used for. It is the only purpose it has ever served. It is purposeless.

Evict the conservancy

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I thought we ALL paid 15 billion for the Greenway, but apparently its just the people at the conservancy who own it. Since they have done such a great job of making it the most boring and underused park of the new century, with 4 out of 4 of the promised cultural institutions bailing (Boston Museum, YMCA, Garden Under Glass, and New Center), I saw we evict the Conservancy.

Hey, if Menino supports the

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Hey, if Menino supports the Occupods so much let them camp out on City Hall Plaza. He can even leave the doors open 24/7 so they can take care of that hygiene thing everyone's talking about. Power up the iGadgets on city outlets and daily trash pickup, just like now.

Yeah right. We know what would really happen. Wood shampoos for all.

Hey, if Menino supports the

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Hey, if Menino supports the Occupods so much let them camp out on City Hall Plaza. He can even leave the doors open 24/7 so they can take care of that hygiene thing everyone's talking about. Power up the iGadgets on city outlets and daily trash pickup, just like now.

Yeah right. We know what would really happen. Wood shampoos for all.

I wonder

Seems that Homeland Security has been coordinating the latest wave of evictions throughout the country - funny how this is all coming down all at once.


Citation Please

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And if your source is that unsourced Examiner article then you may want to read it beyond the misleading headline. DHS isn't coordinating anything.

No Problem!

Do you think they DHS would issue a press release or hold a press conference or declare war or something? Honestly?

Skeptical media are looking into it, and finding a very murky picture of denial on one side, and entirely harmonized activity on the other. Watchdog groups are filing FOIA requests as well, as the actions taken against Occupy encampments on an national scale seem very planned and coordinated in the way they have been carried out.

Thanks, But

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This link doesn't support your original statement at all. The headline asks a question, "Was the federal government involved," quotes a bunch of people answering "no," and cites a protester who says he doesn't believe them.

So again, citation please (unless "they don't put out press releases like that" is all the support you need).

Read the update

Also read the link posted below.

I don't think FOIA requests would be underway if this "rumor" had been "refuted" decisively, do you? And some named government official saying "no it wasn't us" isn't refutation these days, unfortunately.

Again, do you really think Homeland Security is or has ever been transparent in intentions and activities? If so, can you share your stash - it must be primo.

UPDATE: Looky here! Just because it takes some time to investigate the nature of the relationships between groups involved doesn't mean that it isn't happening. Be sure you read all the way to the end to get the full flavor of the interaction with Homeland Security, dear.

ZOMG Srsly?

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Okay, so multiple named, cited sources arguing against your position that this was all coordinated by DHS fails against recent, unanswered FOIA requests? Let me guess: when the FOIAs corroborate all the named, cited sources, you'll take a page from the Birthers, Truthers and JFKers and call it proof of a conspiracy.

Also, in light of your "investigation," please explain how cops talking to cops equals DHS orchestration.

Believe what you want

In the mean time, perhaps you should learn from history what happens when the non-elite ennablers and supporters of the elite end up on the wrong side of a massive sea-change. People such as yourself who not only don't ask questions, but actively try to prevent them from being asked or answered.

Hint: the elite and powerful don't reward you with safety

Start with Boston's own Tories, if you like.

Um Okay

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So now absence of evidence equals evidence of ... presence?

You started at "Homeland Security has been coordinating the latest wave of evictions throughout the country," moved on to "I don't think FOIA requests would be underway if this "rumor" had been "refuted" decisively," and when Google failed ended up at "believe what you want." Aren't you supposed to be like a scientist or something?

You've got me completely wrong, btw. I support OB, OWS, and Occupy Nation. I don't support bad reporting (the Examiner's specialty) or the ignorant/deliberate marginalization of a cause I support by its weirdest elements, in this case wacky conspiracy theorists who can't admit they're wrong.

as a tax-paying resident of

as a tax-paying resident of this city, they couldn't go soon enough.

There are people being murdered in parts of our city, and yet tax dollars are going toward the electricity for occupy's i-products and police detail protection that could be better applied elsewhere.

I'll continue occupying my job, good riddance. Occupy Boston has no unified message, nor any unified purpose, nor are they accomplishing anything. Its only a bunch of hipsters camping out in a park, ruining said park.

Although I agree with you on

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Although I agree with you on some points you are pretty far off. For one people getting murdered in this city is happening all the time but the money isn't going there because nobody in city hall gives a shit about DOT/ROX/MATT. The amount of money these occupiers are using is so small compared to what was invested in hubway or even the tree lighting. Don't blame the occupiers because city hall is limp.

One another point if you think ROX/DOT/MATT isn't paying attention check out Occupy the Hood.

Scale, please?

Some valid statistics on how much is really being spent and how much is just the usual "we need more overtime" police presence demands that have scuttled several events in Boston?

If you worked over there and ever headed out late at night, the place has always had a few cops idling around it at all hours. The interstate bus and train traffic at South Station makes it a really nice rendezvous point for both legitimate and illegal activity. Can you point to some statistics that this police presence has been fundamentally increased in any way? It looks about the same to me, if not diminished because the occupation makes it less of an attractive space for mules.

Some actual numbers, costs, and evidence of reduction in force in other areas of a city would really bolster your arguments here.

Detailed Cops

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I live in Fort Point and walk past the camp every day on my way to work. I am also in/around the Greenway walking my dog morning, night, and weekends. Under normal circumstances there are not cops idling around at all hours - maybe transit cops parked in front of South Station but not on the Greenway. Now there are several BPD officers detailed at the camp.


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Swirly, please give me details that it ISNT costing the city increased money??? Please share...

Please also help explain to me WHAT Occupy has done for any of us???

They need to go get a job or better yet take these "great" brains of theirs and start some charities..

For one thing, Occupy represents my views on the budget

While, unfortunately, nobody in Congress does. Congress, including "liberals" like John Kerry, seems poised to slash the social safety net instead of raising taxes on the wealthy. Some in Congress, I believe, actually want to raise taxes on the working class and the lower-middle-class, slash social programs, and cut taxes for the rich. I think the rich should be taxed first, before you decimate domestic programs and, potentially, create the conditions for violent social unrest. Also, I think we should immediately eliminate the cap on income subject to social security tax (income above $108,000 or so isn't taxed, inexplicably) before we seriously consider cutting benefits. The Supercommittee wants to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, and bought-off Democrats are ready to go along with it. Occupy is the biggest sign of popular resistance to this protect-the-rich-at-all-costs mentality.

John Kerry (D-Heinz Ketchup)????

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The last time he did anything about taxing the rich was to register his New Zealand-built multi-million yacht out of state, significantly reducing his tax liability on it.

I don't think he's rushing to the head of the "raise the taxes on the rich" movement any time soon. Billy Bulger at least got that one right--the "JFK doesn't stand for John Forbes Kerry. It's Just For Kerry."

Not quite right

A few factual errors:

- Kerry's boat is not "registered" anywhere, it's a "documented" boat - big difference. Documentation is federal, registration is state. All commercial boats and most larger boats like his are documented. There is a very important legal difference.

- A boat's home port (where it's documented) is based on where the boat primarily resides, and his boat definitely resides in RI. It's not based on where the owner resides. This can be a sticky issue with a lot of boats that are documented from Wilmington DE because of tax reasons. When a harbormaster sees a boat in his harbor all the time with "Wilmington DE" on it's transom, he can notify local or state tax guys to see if the owner has paid state taxes on it.

My point is, Kerry did exactly the right thing with his boat and got a lot of unnecessary crap for it. And believe me, I'm no Kerry lover, but I hate it when people get crap from people who can't get their facts straight.

It's go political or go home time.

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Unless the Occupistas follow the model of the teahadists and go political (e.g., take the left flank of the Democrats like the teahadists took the right flank of the Republicans), this will have all been in vain. Until that happens, they cannot be considered a "movement" any more that three people walkin' in and singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant was a movement (obligatory Thanksgiving reference).

Frankly, more and more people who were initially sympathetic to these folks are starting to dismiss them, as you have seen above, as things like "camping hipsters" and "basement Uncles". Incidentally, the word that Guthrie used to describe the two people walkin' in and singin' a bar of Alice's Restaurant has been heard as well, usually proceeded by another word beginning with "f". I couldn't tell whether that was because they were Occupistas or hipsters.

The short an long of it is that unless there are some unified and coherent policy demands coming out of of the occupiers soon, they will be forgotten if for no other reason than regardless of whether they will stay out in the winter, the coddled reporters of the msm sure as hell will not.

Occupy Boston != All

Frankly, more and more people who were initially sympathetic to these folks are starting to dismiss them, as you have seen above, as things like "camping hipsters" and "basement Uncles".

That isn't what I'm seeing at all. In many cities, an increasing number of elders, retirees, and employed people taking days off are joining in the fray. Take a look at the Chicago Tribune coverage of Occupy Chicago's efforts (do these people all look like hipsters to you???) - and very coherent 12-item list of what needs to change.

it's a lot bigger than this

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You and others who criticize and attempt to dismiss Occupy for failing to follow the standard, ineffective political path are missing the point. What is going on is not just some random group that has an agenda and has chosen occupation of public spaces as a tactic to advance that agenda. They are reflective of a larger frustration many of us have with the system, the society, the government and the economy. If this phase ends, another will probably begin.

That I might be missing the point IS the point.

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If the political path is ineffective, it is because voter turnout is pathetically low allowing only people interested in supporting special interests to get elected. You're probably right about me missing the point though, because I cannot understand how the occupation of a public space in any way advances any agenda and I am nowhere near alone in that regard. However, my alleged missing the point is not for lack of trying to get the point - it's for Occupy failing to effectively make its point. Others can't be made to understand a point when it is not effectively articulated for us, and it's not helping anyone for Occupy to insist that it knows what its about (it's a hell of a sales person who keeps the virtues of what she's selling to herself).

I have a pretty good handle on what the Teahadists want to do, and I've determined that it's not for me. I follow public affairs reasonably closely, and other than a nonsensical demand from some kids in NYC about student loan forgiveness and a vague reference to a flatter income distribution, I still, two months in, do not have enough info to make an informed decision as to whether I agree with what Occupy wants to do, because (perhaps because of the very diffused nature of the Occupiers) Occupy still has not adequately articulated its message.

You're onto something with the next phase however. If it does happen, it will consist of the Occupy folk taking over the left wing of the Democratic party (which, so far as I can tell, seems to be where most Occupiers I've heard would be most comfortable, but again, it's tough to tell), as the tea partiers have done to the right of the Republican party. In other words, they will take the political path, which actually is a way to advance an agenda. As one of many, many people in the middle of the political spectrum, I hope that that they are able to do so, so that we can have a robust intellectual debate in the upcoming election year.

as a tax-paying resident of

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as a tax-paying resident of this city, I hope Occupy Boston stays there forever. I'm glad to see people actually taking an active role in politics for a change.

Here's the thing: the park

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Here's the thing: the park isn't 'their' park. It's for everyone to enjoy and they've been preventing that for 2 months now. How about they move their tent city to a less ritzy part of the city if they actually want to appear like they are legitimately trying to make a difference for the 99%. Oh wait, they might not get free wi-fi, be able to siphon off the resources for the truly homeless at nearby shelters, get free health clinics, free trash pick-up. These kids are the future 'basement uncles.'

Nobody used this park before Occupy did

except for a couple days of the Figment festival back in June. Otherwise, this was an entirely unused space before Occupy arrived.

Other parts of the Greenway have gotten heavy use, but not this barren lawn.


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I've seen PLENTY of people walking through that section of the park this past summer.

Commenting from your La-Z-Boy

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Commenting from your La-Z-Boy is so much easier than actually going out into the world and experiencing things for yourself! Also, look your best, since if you get anywhere near tent city at least 3 trustafarians will be videoing your every move and every word...

OMG poor financial district.

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OMG poor financial district. Aww people commuting now have to see something beyond their TV or their nice little Newton house. The whole point is to bring the movement to people's front steps. If you were to lets say occupy Morton St. it would just be like everything else on that street ignored.

Also the park is for everyone and some people want to enjoy it differently,.

I agree with your comment:

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I agree with your comment: "The whole point is to bring the movement to people's front steps. If you were to lets say occupy Morton St. it would just be like everything else on that street ignored."

However the Occupiers need to think out of their urban hipster box. Most activity in America does not take place in hip downtown districts. Rather businesses and shopping is in the suburbs. So are the people. Boston has a decent downtown but it still is dwarfed by suburban activity.

The Occupy Wall Street movement should move to the mall. That's where America is.

While I agree

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On the park issue, OWS needs to be very, very careful of getting "in your face" to the commuters and normal people. Support for the movement will drop fast when they're seen actively fighting back the police, or being a complete nuisance to people who already are slave laboring and dealing with a commute to put a ever decreasing amount of food on their tables.

Protest, have a dialogue; but you really need to rethink marching down streets at rush our causes all sorts of standstills.

That kind of thing is not effecting the 1%, isn't getting the attention of the political ruling class, and is only pissing off the people who support OWS, or should be supporting OWS.

We got something good going here. Be smart. Co-opt the system. Don't think you can overthrow it and stamp your feet along the way.

I've enjoyed the Greenway

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I've enjoyed the Greenway since Occupy Boston sprung up more than I ever did beforehand, and I work a 2-minute walk away from it.

The Occupiers are becoming a

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The Occupiers are becoming a tourist site and they get a comment from the drivers of passing tour buses. Tourism is an important business for the city and should be encouraged.
So let them stay indefinitely; when all other cities have removed their occupy movements the tourist value of the Boston site will only increase.

Occupy as Historical Reinactment!

Just dress them up in colonial garb, have them ditch the i-phone charging for open fire cooking, etc. They could even dress as occupying British soldiers and demand to be housed in the homes of downtown condo dwellers and require food contributions from the citizenry.

Come mid-April, the survivors could march toward Concord.

Careful, Swirly

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I think you might have gotten a little too close to something you might not have intended here -
there is no shortage of people who think that the Occupiers are advocating essentially for collectivism, and that doing things like seizing the property of the rich downtown dwellers (arguably, given the condo prices downtown, the 1%) is something that they might actually be interested in.