Facing Freezing Temperatures, Occupy DC Plans for "Phase II"

As the Washington Post reported yesterday, winter has finally set in for Occupy DC protesters after weeks of unseasonably warm weather. And some of the protesters are decamping for health's sake.

As temperatures dipped into the teens, the city’s two Occupy encampments began to resemble ghost towns, with protesters fleeing to bunk on friends’ couches or in church shelters. Tent covers surrendered themselves to wind gusts, only to reveal no one snuggled underneath them.

“I’m 62. I have arthritis in my knees. It got cold and uncomfortable,” said Crystal Zevon, a writer from Greenfield, Mass., who lent her tent to another protester. She said she is moving indoors to help plan the group’s big spring protests.

“I feel I’m just as much a part of it as I ever was,” she added. “But I’m not a masochist.”

Occupiers at McPherson Square, one of the two Occupy DC sites, have also started to receive eviction threats from the Health Department. But none of these setbacks is slowing the occupiers down. Again, the Post:

[Zevon's] among about half of the protesters who will begin moving indoors in the coming days to expand their efforts. Even though she’s leaving Freedom Plaza, Zevon said, she and fellow protesters are not leaving the Occupation.

Indeed, some occupiers have announced that they are planning "Phase II" of Occupy DC, which will focus on four agendas: 1) continuing to hold Freedom Plaza ("Freedom Plaza will continue to be a flagship for the American people to see that the occupy movement continues"); 2) organizing NOW DC (the National Occupation of Washington, DC), which is slated to kick off on March 30; 3) organizing Occupy the Economy and Occupy the Media efforts; and 4) further developing a web-based community. While doing some of this organizing, a few dozen occupiers will move into Peace House and Mt. Rainer House, collectives that the occupiers "intend to develop into useful models for other Occupies around the country to emulate." 

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at January 5, 2012, 7:27am

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