This is breaking news and will be updated as events warrant.
Judge Frances McIntyre of Suffolk Superior Court this afternoon issued her decision based on the December 1 hearing regarding Occupy Boston's presence in Dewey Square. She has ruled against the Occupation and lifted the Temporary Restraining Order which prevented the City of Boston from forcibly removing the encampment.
From the text of her opinion, available in full at PrivacySOS:
This proceeding arises out of the demonstration known as Occupy Boston, which occupied Dewey Square in Boston on September 30, 2011. Protesters have been living on the site since, and hope to continue to do so, and govern themselves as an exemplary democracy. Plaintiffs claim that their occupation of the site and the community they have establihed thereon are protected by the First Amendment. They seek a preliminary injunction against their removal by defendants [the City].
But the injunction is denied because, while Occupy Boston protesters may be exercising their expressive rights during their protest, they have no privilege under the First Amendment to seize and hold the land on which they sit. The distinction is key.
This decision clears the way but does not order the plaintiffs and other protesters to vacate the site and request permission to set up tents of other equipment for expressive purposes, should Occupy Boston wish to continue its association with the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Overnight sleeping and living at Dewey Square are not options under the Conservancy guidelines, however.
As a point of information, Dewey Square is arterial land owned by the state, hence public, but administered by a private entity, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. Again, we see the intersection of public-private spaces, and how privatization of public spaces is stripping us of our First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble.
Ben Wish, attorney for Occupy Boston, has stated that he will file an appeal of the decision.
Occupy Boston has declared an emergency 7 pm General Assembly this evening to discuss next steps, and plan for the inevitable violent police raid. Following a raid, Occupy Boston will meet at 8:15 a.m. the next morning at 24 New Chardon Street, and then at 7 p.m. at the bandstand on the Commons.
Please come and support as we plan next steps and our move into Phase 2.