John Adams says “don’t tread on me”, Tom Menino says..

"I was reminded recently that it was JFK (Rose Kennedy’s son.. ahem) who said 'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.'" Ouch! - promoted by Bob_Neer

…. “Don’t tread on the flowers” and then goes on to say “civil disobedience will not be tolerated”.

The flowers, however, are not the only cause for Meninos alarm; He, and the BPD, are presenting an ever shifting array of justifications for the heavy-handed tactics, including

  • lack of permit
  • using too much city resources
  • “anarchists’ have taken over
  • the above mentioned flowers (parkgrounds)
  • and the always useful “public safety at risk”.

Lack of permit:  the protesters in Dewey Square have not had a permit since day one.  Why now, all of a sudden, is a permit so important? This is selective enforcement, if anything.

Using too much city resources:  this is pernicious; the mayor does not get to say what is too much in the way of city resource use.  Will he next say the North End uses too much electricity?  Of course not.  Will he next say the back bay has too many commuters using too much ‘resources’? (police, mbta, etc..)  of course not.   The city lives and breathes, just as the sun rises and sets, without Meninos’ say-so.


“Anarchists” have taken over:  This is the rational given to NPR by the Police Commisioner, without proof.  Well, so what?   Who are the BPD to say some speech is OK while other speech is not? If the anarchists get out of hand, We’ll take them on too…


Don’t tread on the flowers: Why is property more important than people? Yet that is exactly the implied rationale behind this justification. I was reminded recently that it was JFK (Rose Kennedy’s son.. ahem) who said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” Menino has always been something of a comedic figure in the commonwealth though, until now, not one giving to dealing in comic irony.


Public safety at risk: Well, yes. That’s the point. Shake things up. Make people review their complaisance attitudes and to make them face things they wouldn’t ordinarily face. Nothing at all safe about that.


All those rationales break down fairly quickly so what is the real reason? I don’t know for certain but I do suspect sheer laziness: listening to Menino and the BPD talk you’d think they’ve been pulled out of a pleasant nap and are pretty annoyed about it. I think they didn’t want to deal with a hassle so they let the protests settle in the first place and now, when 10,000 people march on the city and things threaten to get bigger, they don’t want a even bigger hassle and are scrambling to come up with reasons that don’t involve admitting they’ve been perturbed. Listening to Menino talk about how “these things have to end sometime” and “very shortly” they’ll be ended, I got a clear sense of somebody who’s just hollowed out and tired and wants it to be over so he can go back to his nap.

Tough shit, Tom. Ain’t gonna happen.


6 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Let's not forget

    the protesters had approval by the Rose Kennedy people to be there so long as they took care of the property. Given how they protected the flowered areas in Dewey and their general granola-crunchy ways, that wouldn’t have been a problem. I’d imagine the Dewey Recycling program is probably better than the city’s…

    These are all just excuses and means to confuse the public into accepting what happened. What really went on is the city does not want to see a real movement on its hands. It wants to keep these protests locked up in a little zone where they can be kenneled, mocked or ignored. Well, whether Menino likes it or not, the movement is growing and the people will not tolerate this crap anymore.

    RyansTake   @   Tue 11 Oct 5:18 PM
    • Typical Menino bullshit

      There’s more to “Mumbles” than a cheap Herald ad hominem.
      For Menino, incoherence has always been an effective strategy. How do you argue with incoherence?

  2. The John Adams reference is a bit ironic...

    …considering he defended the Redcoats who were involved in the “Boston Massacre”. I agree that this was a bad call by the Mayor, but at least he has a sympathetic side on these issues unlike most of the GOP leadership.

    • ?What sympathetic side, Christopher? Tell us. Tom is hiding it. Can you help him out?

      Seriously. I find your latest comment really confusing. Maybe it posted out of sequence??

  3. Whose side would Rose Kennedy

    be on? The side that says that citizens are only allowed to exercise their 1st amendment rights to peacefully assemble if the government grants them a permit and/or unpopular groups do not join them and/or the cost of government monitoring is negligible and/or no one steps on the flowers…public safety??? what are they firing guns, making bombs, or lighting fires or just a generic, “cause we say so.”
    The 1st Amendment is there protect the rights of the people to assemble whether the government wants them to or not right? Or else there would be no need to have enshrined in our Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  4. Still having trouble replying to comments.

    This is in response to amberpaw’s reply to me above:

    The Mayor is quoted in this article, which is also refered to in another diary above, as saying we have to listen to these people and that they have some of the right issues. I believe I have read similar expressions of agreement from him. This is a far cry from GOP candidates and congressional leaders who are accusing the protesters of being vulgar, dirty, unamerican, drug users, divisive, etc.

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