Three Occupy Boston protesters were arrested on Thursday night after riot police stormed the groups Dewey Square encampment in order to seize a kitchen sink that had been brought to the camp so protesters could wash dishes.
The raid occurred the same day Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances A. McIntyre extended a temporary restraining order to bar city officials from suddenly evicting the Occupy protesters from their encampment or seizing their personal belongings. The restraining order, granted on Nov. 17 -- the day officers with the New York City Police Department ousted Occupy Wall Street protesters from their base at Zuccotti Park in a midnight raid -- was extended to Dec. 15.
The court-ordered restraining order did not stop Boston police officers from storming the Occupy camp only hours later.
The police came and told us that we could not have a sink,'' demonstrator Robin Jacks told The Boston Globe, adding that the incident occurred at approximately 9 p.m. Then people gathered around and got really upset.''
A video on the incident show several police officers wading through a crowd of protesters and placing the large sink in the back of a police wagon.
Boston Police Department spokesman David Estrada told the Globe the three demonstrators who were arrested were charged with disorderly conduct, but said more charges were possible. One of the suspects was also reportedly charged with assault and battery on a police officer.
In a blog entry on OccupyBoston.org, the group wrote it acquired the sink in order to increase safety and sanitation at the encampment, an issue the City of Boston has used to argue that the demonstrators should be evicted from Dewey Square.
We have allocated large amounts of funds for the fireproofing, winterization and sanitation of our community. However, even as the city tells us that we are a public safety hazard, they have been actively thwarting our efforts, the blog entry states.
The protesters were reportedly confused as to why the police confiscated the sink, since the restraining order issued by Judge McIntyre prevents Boston Police from dismantling [the camp] except in the case of a fire, violence or other emergency.
The protesters blocked the trunk containing the sink for almost 40 minutes, which reportedly led to the three arrests, all of which was caught on video.
Several demonstrators allegedly affiliated with Occupy Boston wrote on Twitter that the Boston Public Health Department had actually approved the Occupiers plan for the sink. However, Annie Scales, the communications director for the department, told the IBTimes that nobody here knew about the sink or approved it.