Hundreds of Boston police officers tore down the Occupy Boston encampment early Saturday, evicting protesters and bringing the 10-week rally to a close.
At least 46 protesters were arrested in the “lightning-swift operation,” the Boston Globe reported. Police moved in about 5 a.m. and the entire operation was finished in less than an hour, police said.
Police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said protesters were “very accommodating” to police, though about two dozen demonstrators linked arms and sat down in nonviolent protest and police soon began arresting them. She said police moved in to “ensure compliance with the trespassing law.”
The arrests were for trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Driscoll said. No injuries were reported.
The city had set a deadline for midnight Thursday for the protesters to abandon the site but police took no action until Saturday.
According to the Globe, demonstrators ran for the camp yelling “Wake up! Wake up!” when police first arrived. Within 20 minutes, about 50 tents had been torn down and a front-end loader was scooping debris from the camp into a garbage truck.
Protesters estimated between 100 and 150 demonstrators had lived in the encampment.
Protesters first erected the encampment on Sept. 30. Many pulled up stakes and left the encampment Thursday after learning of the midnight deadline Mayor Thomas Menino had set for them to leave the square, but others stayed, and some said they were prepared to be arrested.
Mayor Thomas Menino previously had said the city had no plans to forcibly remove the encampment, he appeared to become increasingly impatient with the protesters in recent days, saying the occupation had become a public health and safety hazard. He issued his ultimatum after a judge ruled on Wednesday that the protesters had no right to stay in Dewey Square.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.