BU Occupies Boston: A Community Reacts

By Kelly Dickinson • October 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm


At the beginning of this meeting, it was decided that, due to the sensitive nature of the incidents involved, the names of the students  incarcerated and the students who spoke would not be given without their express permission. 

Last night, the members of BU Occupies Boston, a branch of Occupy Boston—which is, in turn, a sibling of Occupy Wall Street—convened to reflect, react and reorganize. A group of around 40 students gathered yesterday evening in the Women’s Resource Center to discuss the events and to answer the question that has been on every Bostonian activist’s mind since early Tuesday morning: where to go from here?

The police at Dewey Square early Tuesday morning. | Photo by Hannah Morrison.

The majority of the meeting was spent trying to draft two letters composed by BU student activist Tarif Ahmed, one of which was addressed to the Boston Police Department and the other, to Mayor Menino. The letters, which were designed to be messages from the members of the Occupy Boston movement at Boston University (but not the whole Boston University Community) drew controversy from those gathered.

While some students felt that it was important for the tone of the letters to remain respectful and make concessions, others favored a more straightforward approach.

“I think we need to approach Mayor Menino in this antagonizing manner. What happened was really really wrong… Until we expose the wrong-doing of Mayor Menino and the police, people will continue to believe they did the right thing,” said one student.

The letters were then handed off to a smaller group of students to edit, but the group decided that they would be finalized and published this Thursday evening.

The assembly agreed that all names of the arrested would remain unannounced for the time being, but it was confirmed that seven current Boston University students were arrested. All were released by the time of the meeting, and three made appearances during the course of the night.

One recounted some experiences at the meeting’s opening: “We were originally all charged with two things: one was trespassing on that property after 11:00. It was privately-owned public property. The second was called ‘unlawful assembly’ and a lot of people I was in the cell with were saying, well, that’s unconstitutional,” the student said.

According to the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s website, the park is officially open from 7am until 11pm, though the protestors had been settled in Dewey Square Park for the weekend, the police only chose to intervene when they chose to add a second camp at the adjacent Fort Point Channel Park.  The student claimed that all those arrested had the option to reduce charges to a civil offense, and pay a $50 fine, which most of the protestors and all of the BU students agreed to do.

A larger, inter-collegiate Student General Assembly will meet today, Wednesday, October 12, at 10pm in Dewey Square. BU students can continue to discuss the movement and campus involvement on the group’s Facebook page.


Kelly is a CAS/COM senior double-majoring in Psychology and Film. She was the editor-in-chief last year, but she ceded to Ingrid in a mostly-bloodless coup. Right now, she's Producing on QuadCast, checking off her BU bucket-list and hunting for one of those "job" things.



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