KAT (LEFT) AND TORI (RIGHT) AT BOSTON POLICE C-6, 101 W. BROADWAY. AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM JAIL. ARRESTED WHILE AT OCCUPY BOSTON WHEN BPD RAIDED THE ENCAMPMENT LAST NIGHT.
TORI, SASHA (MEDIC), KAT (3 OF THE 14 WOMEN ARRESTED AT OCCUPY BOSTON LAST NIGHT) AND KATIE (THERE FOR RAID; COULD NOT RISK ARREST)
Sasha (one of the two medics arrested): [While examining Tori’s wrists, covered in lacerations and cuts from handcuffs. Tori starts crying because she is losing feeling in one hand.] I feel awful. The reason I was going in was to stop things like this from happening. I’m sorry.
Tori: I mean honestly most of the time they were on—I guess it was adrenaline—I didn’t really feel it [at first]. And then I was like, whoa … these are getting really uncomfortable.
Officer: are you okay?
Tori: I’m fine
Sasha: Well fine-ish. She’s upset and wants a doctor.
Officer: Do you need an ambulance?
Sasha: Your fingers are still working?
Tori: Yeah …
Sasha: You still need to go to the hospital because you’ve lost sensation … that said where is the closest hospital? Do you have a ride out of here or no?
Tori: No I have a friend coming. I can’t leave until he gets here.
Sasha: Are you sure because I have a car here. Okay. Can I give you my phone number on a piece of paper?
Do you need paper?
Sasha: Yes, please.
Okay. One sec … So could you just tell me what happened? So everyone can hear your story?
Tori: Okay. We’d been standing on the corner, on the sidewalk, by South Station for a long time. Just in solidarity. I didn’t get down there ‘til the raid was over. And it really sucked sitting there, just feeling really helpless, not being able to do anything. So we decided—there were 3 of us. And we decided to walk back to Dewey. And we knew they would stop us.
So we decided that when they stopped us, we would just sit down. And that’s what we did.
So we made it three quarters of the way across the intersection, and the police line stopped us. So we sat down. And we started chanting “Evict us, we’ll multiply! Occupy will never die!” Over and over again.So they told us if we didn’t move, we’d be arrested. And we all knew that … soooo … so they arrested us.
So how was the police’s demeanor? Were they gentle …
He was having a hard time getting his words out. Because we wouldn’t stop screaming our chant. [Laughs]
But you said they put on the handcuffs really tight for you …
Yeah … they were pretty pissed. I didn’t resist; but I didn’t stand up and walk away. I went limp. And they had to carry me off.
Which is what you learned in Civil Disobedience training?
It’s a personal choice. It’s a tactic. That I chose to do.
What was your official reason for arrest, on that paper that you were reading?
What I was charged with was “disturbing the peace.”
“Disturbing the peace.” But you said that most of the protesters there were acting peacefully when the BPD came to arrest, correct?
Okay. And what’s your personal reason for being at Occupy? What does it mean to you after all this? Or what now—
Channel 7 news guy: [shoves a lighted mic and giant camera in her face] What happened with your hand?
Tori: This is all from the zip-tie cuffs. And as you can see on the back of my hands, they broke the skin.
Woman in the room: [steps in] Okay I think she’s had enough. She’s been through a lot. [Tori and Channel 7 News guy leave]
See that’s why I wanted to do this with you guys after. But they are going to take her to the hospital, and I wanted her to tell her story. Then that fucking Channel 7 News guy just came up behind me with that huge camera and stole the interview.
Katie: Yeah he like shoved the mic in her face.
Yeah, I was like, okay. Um cause I would have rather done that outside and like been just with her. Can I have your e-mail so I can send this to you and you forward it to Tori?
Katie: [Gives me me her email]
Alright I’ll email it to you when it’s done and everything.
Katie: Thanks so much.
Tell Tori when you talk to her that I didn’t mean to bombard her. I just wanted her story to be heard.
So you have to study for exams all day?
Katie: Yeah. [Laughs]. I mean I have a paper due, an art project due, and this test Wed.
So having the eviction at this time was semi-convenient. [Laughs]
But it still sucks. I mean, at least this keeps my mind off [the eviction].
Yeah but you still need to get some sleep before you start studying!
Katie: [Laughs] Yeah.
Cause you get delirious. I did that last time, we stayed up all night and by 4 pm I was like, delirious.
And it was the same deal people were trying to interview me and I was like, “Dude I’m delirious and traumatized right now …”
Katie: [Laughs] Yeah …
… “I’m probably not even making any sense.”
Katie: That’s what I was saying earlier…
[Talk about last BPD raid when Occupy expanded down the Greenway] And I just trusted the police. Like I didn’t think that would happen.
But I think this time, I guess they handled it better.
Katie: Yeah [they did]. It was really just that one cop [that was laughing as protesters were being arrested]—and it wasn’t that he was laughing with other cops, which would have been enough to get me. I was just physically shaking and angry at that and … hurt almost.
I was like, “You’re a person, like … how?”
But he was just laughing by himself, hysterically … looking me in the eye and laughing.
See that reminds me of a villain or something …
Katie: Yeah! Like joking about throwing a hand grenade at us.
That’s just the thing though. Some police officers are like that, but most seemed to handle it well.
Katie: Right! Like right before that, the police officer in front of me was tearing up.
Yeah, and you said that in the interview. So it’s going to be both sides, which is good.
Katie: I mean there were some people who were like “fuck the police!” But I’m not like that at all.
Exactly. Like the first time I thought they were just going to come in normally and arrest people. I didn’t think it was going to start this whole wave of violence between police and protesters across the country.
Katie: It’s really sad though.
I just don’t get how that’s okay at all.
Katie: Exactly and I don’t get—even if I disagreed with the movement, that would still scare the shit out of me.
That the police can just do whatever the fuck they want
But anyways make sure you tell Tori I’m sorry. And that I said thanks.
Katie: I will, I will.
Kat: Did you hear about how the police were shoving me into the paddy wagon? Yeah because I guess I was the last one to be picked up and … if you want to start recording a new one.
Okay, hold on. Okay go ‘head.
Kat: I was the last one to be picked off. And Tori had gone limp.
And I was just going to walk.
And I put one foot up to get into the paddy wagon and he just shoved me, and like threw me into the fucking floor and closed the door.
Okay so you know the first raid of Occupy Boston?
Kat: I was not there.
But I understand how you feel. I said, “Okay I’m ‘gonna leave.” And then I said sorry and started to leave and he pushed me from behind to the ground. And it was the most scary thing, because you’re not doing anything, and you’re telling them you’re trying to get away. But you can’t communicate like that if people are just going to use violence on you, without figuring that out.
Because how important do you think it is that Occupy is supposed to be peaceful? Like how we were trained in civil disobedience.
Kat: It was just so much for me. ‘Cause I was just like, “I don’t understand.” Because I was cooperating with you. I wasn’t resisting.
And like, there was so much force. And it was just unnecessary.
But people have been saying that for the most part, it was a sort of chill arrest. Was it like that? For the most part?
Kat: It was for the most part. I think just emotions were high. And actually I spoke to people who were detained who were actually in the camp [when the arrest happened] and I think their whole situation was more calm than ours.
So you were on the side? The three of you? [Tori, Kat, and their friend]
Kat: Yes. we were in front of South Station. And I think a lot of emotions were running high. Some people felt a certain way about the cops and other people were in support. It was a back and forth. And people were hysterical. We were just a little caught off guard.
So what now?
Kat: We’re still here [smiles].
Yeah. You can’t evict an idea.
Yeah, I’m expecting bigger numbers. Like even more than Thursday night.
What has Occupy done for you personally?
It’s created friendships. Built a community. And just the sort of community that we need.
Do you feel like it’s kind of, changed your life?
Kat: It definitely has. I’ve dedicated so much time to it. And I’ve gotten so much back.
And I feel like we have something real here.
More of Dig Boston’s #Occupy Coverage here.