Monday, November 07, 2011

To Encamp or Not to Encamp

One of the major obstacles to the Occupy Movement is going to be - winter. There may have been a reason that the cultural upheaval in the Middle East is called the Arab Spring. But we're here and winter is coming. So let's say it flat out:

"Basing a once in a lifetime protest on fragile tent encampments, in February, in the Northern Hemisphere, might not be the best laid strategy to topple wall street and reform the world's financial institutions."

Which does not mean I don't support you and I will continue to march with you and donate supplies to the encampment. But at my age I am simply unable and unwilling to spend this winter in a tent. 

Yes, I know we are all "one lost job away from being on the street" but that is simply revolutionary rhetoric for most of the 99%. We are mostly two or three or more steps away from being homeless. We're older and yes perhaps softer or simply less adventuresome. Fine, not everyone will be in a tent come the new year.

But might it not make sense, where possible, to move Occupy indoors for the winter. Yes, that raises a lot of problems. Yes, that makes it easier for the reigning government to control and even raid the encampments. But there are abandoned buildings in most of the encampment cities. Buildings that can provide shelter and even utilities for the Occupy encampments.

Surely in some, if not many cities the local politicians would dearly desire to trade a city public space for an abandoned building. Teach-ins become easier with heat, media coverage does as well. Yes, there are logistical issues; not to mention negotiating with "the man." But this is all new ground for all of us - flexibility seems to be one of the natural characteristics of the Occupy Movement. So, shall we explore the reality of a tent city in winter before it's actually upon us?

1 comment:

Winweasel said...

0 degree rated sleeping bags and these nifty little shelters might be a major improvement over tents: