Occupy Boston camping out without a permit; electricity provided - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Occupy Boston camping out without a permit; electricity provided


As the Occupy Boston movement gains steam with nurses and college students joining the ranks of protestors, FOX Undercover has learned that Massachusetts is rolling out the red carpet for the hundreds who are camping out.

Members of the protest group have been camping out overnight on the Rose Kennedy Greenway since last week, but the city is not requiring the group to get any permits even though that’s what is supposed to happen when groups protest in the city.

The state owns the Greenway land where the protesters are camped out, and electricity is actually being provided to the demonstrators staying there.

A city ordinance prohibits overnight camping. Boston police say the ordinance allows people to only pass through the parks between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The city is also picking up trash from the Greenway everyday.

FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet caught up with Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to ask about the friendly treatment.

“Why are they allowed to be in the city without a permit?” Beaudet asked.

“Well because freedom of expression, and I think that's the important part here,” Menino said.

“Are you welcoming campers, because I have to be honest with you, Mayor, I’d love to pitch a tent in the public garden this weekend with my family,” Beaudet said.

“You don't have a cause,” Menino joked.

He added, “I'm not encouraging them, but this is a national movement. I think we have to make that decision what's wrong and what isn't wrong. And look what happened in New York. Over 700 folks were arrested. I think we have to have this conversation going back and forth between the demonstrators and the police department.”

So far the protests have remained peaceful, with Boston police reporting no arrests.

The mayor's spokesperson says the city isn't cracking down on the protesters because the city doesn't want to cause problems by encouraging civil disobedience.

A state spokesman tells FOX Undercover the electricity was made available because the protesters wanted to bring in a generator, which the state felt could be unsafe.

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