With the help of Boston's Tactical Police Force (TPF), the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) yesterday won its nine-year struggle with a group of three Allston families who have consistently refused to move from the proposed site of a 212-unit housing project.
The last families left on their own yesterday morning soon after forty TPF officers easily dispersed demonstrators who were attempting to block the evictions. A large bulldozer demolished their homes in the afternoon.
The police arrested 14 persons who apparently disregarded two warnings from TPF Captain Walter A. Rachalski that he would take them into custody for "unlawful assembly" if they did not disperse immediately.
Ten From Harvard
Two paddy wagons took those arrested-including ten Harvard students-to Brighton District Court, where Judge Charles J. Artesani released them on personal recognizance. The court will hear their case at 9:30 a. m. on November 18.
After the TPF had scattered the crowd of 80 persons blocking the fornt door of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Redgate's home, Suffolk County Deputy Sheriffs served a warrant, and movers began loading furniture from the house onto a truck. Mrs. Redgate has long been a spokesman for the Allston families in their attempts to avoid eviction.
The Redgates received the warrant an hour after the deadline which a Court of Appeals panel had set on Monday for their eviction. Last-minute appeals to the U. S. Supreme Court by the families' lawyers and efforts by Senator Edward M. Brooke (R-Mass.) to delay the evictions on Tuesday failed to gain further time for the Allston group.
Demonstrators, primarily from Harvard SDS, had been unclear as to what action they were going to take once the police arrived. At a brief meeting beside the Redgates' home, Lowry Hemphill '72 suggested a "fast-moving militant picket line" which would stretch along the side-walk, and the group of about 80 persons accepted the plan.
As a crowd of about 100 neighbors and workers from the area looked on, the picket line of BRA opponents chantedslogans which included "Stay and fight Kevin White," and "Eisenstadt: Stop that Rat." When the police arrived at 9:45 a. m. the group spontaneously huddied at the two doors to the Redgate house and yelled "No evictions; stay and fight," at the approaching TPF officers. Captain Rachalski's warnings by bullhorn could not be heard over the chanting.
It took about 30 seconds for the TPF officers to clear the doorways. They did not carry nightsticks, and there were no injuries reported by any of the demonstartors who were hustled away from the building.
In an effort to reduce the chance of a violent confrontation, Mrs. Redgate announced that she and her husband would leave without a struggle. Prior to this time she had continually vowed not to leave her home without a fight, but the tenseness of the situation convinced her that she would "rather go on [her] own than have them get hurt."
New BRA Housing
The Redgates spent last night in temporary housing provided by the BRA in Brighton.
Mrs. Redgate was the focal point of the confrontation between police and demonstrators, and the other families offered symbolic resistance after her decision to leave on her own. Miss Frances O'Brian did not leave until she received the warrant from the deputy sheriffs. She said that she wanted "to prove in principle that we didn't leave voluntarily." Mrs. Mary Casey likewise did not leave until the warrant was served.