News & Events

It takes a village to Occupy Boston

The pictures tell the story…photos didn’t come over…so click on the link. My favorite tent is the one where protesters peddle a bike to generate power to cellphones and laptops! A very ingenious, coordinated, well-organized effort. The Herald hard-copy had a map showing locations of the various tents (medical, legal, power, food, etc)

It takes a village to Occupy Boston

By Dan O’Brien And Raakhee Mirchandani

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy Boston’s Wi-Fi-enabled tent community has morphed into a city within a city, a quirky commune with a library, yoga classes and even a clothing swap. Proof that the Occupants aren’t going anywhere soon, the encampment is filled with dozens of booths catering to protestors’ every need including a tent to eat, another to get free legal advice and even one to pedal for power to charge cell phones and laptops. “Part of what this movement is based on is people being in the same space,” said Stephen Squibb, an Occupy Boston spokesman. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before in my life.” The Herald spent time inside Occupy for an exclusive look inside the tents:

Jews at the Greenway celebrate Sukkot, the harvest festival, in a sukkah, Hebrew for a traditional holiday tent. Yesterday, a rabbi stopped by for a reading and prayer session.

Om sweet om. Chakra balancing, yoga and reiki are just some of the ways Occupiers amp up their inner tranquility.

Thanks to some Massachusetts Institute of Technology brainiacs, cell phones and laptops are powered by a contraption made up of stationary bikes and chains hooked up to generators. Volunteers take turns pedaling the bikes.

Carlos Arrendondo, whose son Lance Cpl. Alexander Arrendondo died in Iraq in 2004, has set up camp with a few veterans. “It’s important to have military families Occupy Boston,” he said. “We’re a part of this casualty of this economy. It’s very connected because of the money we spend overseas.”

Protestors scrawl on their wrists the phone numbers of the lawyers and law students camped in case they’re cuffed. “They let us know what we can and can’t do,” spokesman Squibb said.

This one-stop shop is packed with clothes, condoms, underwear and blankets — all free, all day — for squatters looking for a clean change or a new pair of shoes.

Express your inner Occupant. Get pre-made posters including “Bank of America: Land Of The Fee” or “Capitalism? Yes. Corruption? No.” Or DIY your own slogan with Sharpies, spray paint and poster board, all stocked here.

This solar-powered lending bibliotheque doesn’t charge late fees. Pick up a free copy of Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” or Adam Smith’s “Theory of Moral Sentiments.”

All the PB&J you can eat. The all-vegetarian menu, cooked by volunteers with food donations, serves up rice and beans, bagels and bread donated by When Pigs Fly and copious amounts of veggies including peppers, carrots and potatoes.

First-Aid certified volunteers man the ER tent 24/7. The booth also is stocked with combs, hand sanitizer, Neosporin and cough drops.

Since there’s no running water at Occupy, volunteers clean plates and cutlery in a three-bucket system — soak, wash and rinse — filled with bottled water.

This Wi-Fi-enabled zone is for the Twitterati and Facebook-obsessed. It’s also where Occupy Boston updates its website.

Occupy Boston 10-19:

Carr: Reason has no space in Occupy’s debt relief

Protesters camp up Greenway

Occupiers turn to homeless for tips

NY protesters receive $435,000 in donations

Occupy Boston: By the numbers