Wednesday, June 8, 2011
With some scrambling, I was able to make it to the square last night. I missed The Kissers, but found @pewtergryphon right away. She generously offered tent space, and I happily accepted. We serendipitously ran into @AnonyMissBadger, there to drop off a tent for me. Suffice it to say I was overwhelmed with kindness and generosity and hadn't even been there 10 minutes.
It had been brutally hot that day, but as the sun set temps came down, a breeze picked up, and it became the perfect setting to sit, chat and chug from our water bottles. We sat on the concrete steps by the Veteran's Museum and watched Michael Moore's SiCKO. Popcorn was passed around, and personally, I was grateful to see that film in that setting. I'm not a movie reviewer nor necessarily a huge Michael Moore fan, but I have to recommend the movie. I learned a lot about the differences in healthcare systems (and philosophies, really) around the world, and while it should have been and was, depressing, it left me hopeful for our democracy.
I grabbed a snack, headed back to the tent, and despite the sidewalk beneath me, fell asleep right away. I heard I snore ;-). It rained a bit around 6am, so we got up and put the rainfly on. Inside-out, but hey, it worked. The buses started arriving and I cried 'Uncle' and got up around 7. Coffee at Michaelangelo's, bagel at Gotham, and back on the #2 bus to be back home by 9:30.
There are areas where tents are allowed to stay erected, but most of the tents had to be taken down by 7am. Tents can't be put up until 9pm. There's only one set of porta-potties (next to Vet's Museum on State Street side), so if you were down by UWCU (as I was) it was a two block walk. No biggie, but it certainly informed my hydration rate! There was an area for families, an information tent, and plenty of volunteers to let you know about events both social and informational.
I can see where #walkerville will soon outgrow the two blocks the permit allots. There was also talk of extending the permit to June 27th (beyond the current June 29th) due to when the BRB might be taken up again.
I strongly encourage those that wish to experience this statement of protest to do so. As I watched little kids run around and listened to the street music, I couldn't help but think, "Well now, this isn't so bad after all." There is a sense of community and downright helpfulness that couldn't be ignored. But I'm not naive. I made the choice to participate, and after having done so, went back to do my work in a home I own in one of the best neighborhoods in one of the country's best cities. I am not forced to live in the streets, but many are. Many more may. I can't live with that.
So sleeping in a tent on Carroll Street doesn't really change anything, I know that. But each of us doing something, when we can, how we can, changes everything. I know that.