Dec. 9, 2011
BOSTON — It seemed more like Mardi Gras than a protest early Friday morning, as police allowed hundreds of Occupy Boston demonstrators to dance and sing in the middle of Atlantic Avenue.
Close to 1,000 demonstrators came to Dewey Square, defying mayor Tom Menino’s midnight deadline to vacate the camp they’ve been occupying since September 30.
“Game plan is to hold the camp as long as possible and to act as a deterrent, saying that these people are willing to [use] their bodies for the cause,” said one protester. He said he was willing to be arrested.
But as the deadline came and went, the situation remained relatively calm. The only drama hit at 3:30 a.m., when two people were hauled away after refusing to move their tent — and themselves — from the middle of Atlantic Avenue.
“Everybody is pretty jubilant that we didn’t get evicted tonight,” said protester Seth Mantie, adding a classic Boston note: “There’s a sense of jubilation I think comparable to any Red Sox game at Fenway Park.”
One person started calling the night an "evict-ory."
Some protestors did heed the mayor’s warning, and could be seen packing up and tearing down parts of the camp throughout the night.
By early morning, huge swaths of Dewey Square were visible for the first time in two months. Even the Occupiers who remained said the end was near.
“There’s still going to be an eviction at some point, it doesn’t really change that. But the fact is we had a great send-off,” Mantie said.
Occupy Boston has tweeted for people to come back Friday night to “defend” the site, saying, “We still anticipate a raid in the near future.”
MORE WGBH OCCUPY COVERAGE
"EVICT-ORY!" (SOURCE: "FRONTLINE")