Dismantling Occupy

Of all the cities where officials have dismantled the Occupy protesters, Boston may be the most symbolic, it being the home of the Freedom Trail and the place where patriots took a stand against a system they considered unjust.

But irony wasn’t much of a concern when the cops moved in this morning, after informing the media they’d be allowed to watch.

As the Boston Globe tells it…

As police entered the site, they forced most members of the media to stand on the sidewalk on Atlantic Avenue, on the outskirts of Dewey Square. A line of about a dozen uniformed officers stood between them and the square, where at least 46 people were arrested.

Boston Police Superintendent William Evans said this was done so members of the media wouldn’t interfere with the operation.

If there’s one thing that the police around the country have discovered in the Occupy protests, it’s that letting people see what’s going on — peaceful or not — is not in their best interests.

What did the Occupy protests accomplish? Nothing, a Globe columnist contends:

The Occupiers, and many in the media, will argue that at a minimum they provoked discussion about the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the decline of the middle class. I’m not sure that’s correct. The debate was already under way. Democrats have been harping on tax cuts for the wealthy over the last couple of years. Occupy was more a consequence of that discussion than its provocateur.

But whether one gives the Occupiers credit for the conversation or not, it’s hard to see how they’ve played any role in figuring out a solution. The principal impact of the Occupiers’ leaderless, agenda-free movement was pretty much to persuade everyone else that leaderless, agenda-free movements don’t work. The Tea Party activists, with whom the Occupiers are often compared, turned their anger into political action. But much of the rhetoric from the Occupiers specifically rejected participation in voting and politics, leaving one puzzled as to how anything meaningful was to be accomplished.

The columnist complained the protests were making it impossible for anyone else to use the park. After the raids this morning, police erected metal barricades around the park.