Can Occupy Boston Continue Without Dewey Square?

An Occupy Boston demonstrator steps back into a tent a make-shift tent city in Dewey Square. (AP)

An Occupy Boston demonstrator steps back into a tent a make-shift tent city in Dewey Square. (AP)

A court hearing Thursday on the fate of Occupy Boston in Dewey Square ended without a ruling. At issue in the case: free speech rights versus public safety.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino says there are no plans to evict the protesters, but he wants the right to do so in case health or safety issues make it necessary. Lawyers for the protesters argued in court that the Dewey Square camp is an act of free speech that must be protected.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances A. McIntyre said she would rule by December 15th. In the meantime, the Dewey Square demonstration will remain.

Occupy Boston is now more than two months old. And across the nation — from New York to Los Angeles — police have cleared and shut down similar encampments, suggesting this stage of the protest movement may be slowing down or ending.

But whether the city evicts the protesters or let’s them stay, what’s next for Occupy Boston? Can it survive without its Dewey Square presence? And if it digs in for the winter, then what?


  • Professor Timothy McCarthy,┬ádirector of the human rights and social movements program, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; and author of “Protest Nation: Words That Inspired A Century of American Radicalism”
  • Philip Anderson, Occupy Boston protester,
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