It’s Spring everybody! The birds are singing. Blossoms are blooming. The Occupy Movement is in full swing…
Or is it?
Occupy May Day is around the corner, and according to Facebook, the movement has 21,976 confirmed participants world-wide as of today (http://www.facebook.com/events/337068492974144/). Now, these figures are not definite, as with all events that document attendance via Facebook. The amount of people that did sign up and won’t attend varies, along with those who did not sign up and will attend. What one can take away from this 21,976 digit is that there is still interest and fervor behind OWS.
Is this interest in the movement more or less now in the spring than it was in the fall? A large aspect of this answer relies on analysis of logistics during the Winter season. I’ll use the East Coast Movement, consisting of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. as examples.
- Philly: They got hit hard by a snowstorm in late October. Thankfully, their camp had been working diligently with City Hall beforehand and secured a permit that enabled access to a power grid that powered electronics and provided heat for tents. This service was not free as an undisclosed fee was charged (Estes).
- DC: Alike to Philly, back in October, relations with city officials were relatively well. For example, instead of kicking people out at 3am for sleeping in a park, police officers woke them up. This action was in congruence to an ordinance prohibiting people to sleep there past that time (Estes).
- New York: The central camp of the movement happens to be located the most northern out of the group. In turn, they suffered probably the worst winter climate. Generators were out of the question due to “hazards” claimed by NYFD. The solution: bicycles. Occupies took turns pedaling on bicycles to charge a battery powering a generator. An estimated six hours of pedaling resulted in 100 hours of use (Estes).
Of course, being that it’s Spring, anybody following the movement relatively would know that things have changed.
- Philly: Strong. There are 2,414 members registers on their official website. Also available are documentations of past events as well as information on future ones, including General Assemblies and community initiatives with detailed locations, times, and agendas. This is all available on a very user-friendly site. Check it out:
- D.C.: Weak. A visit to the site prompts this:
Not pretty, is it? I’ll elaborate more on Occupy DC in another post and reveal my personal experience working with their management team and their logistical approach.
- NY: Well, this is the basis of the entire project. This will be analyzed in my final post.
(Insert cliff-hanger prompting phrase)