NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–October , 2011. Close to 300 bodies lay haphazardly all over the ground. Some were wrapped in taps, others were simply laying on cardboard. The most eerie of these sights was those bodies wrapped in blanket and then in plastic as though they were corpses wrapped for the morgue.
This was the scene that unfolded for the medical night-shift as the early morning sun appeared from between the buildings. One of the medics told us, “It looks like a war zone. There is a point, around five or six am, at which most people are asleep and only closer inspection can find traces of breath in the bodies.”
In the minds of many of these protestors, it is war. For many, this is the beginning of a revolution; a revolution that reclaims the economic and social systems and makes them work for the people.
Burnout is easy here, where daily life is a struggle. As one man, who has experience with homelessness said, “When you go scuba diving, you take a scuba guide, right? When you go homeless, you should take a homeless guide.” Things like rain become epic crises; not only is everything you own suddenly soaked, but so is everything in the camp. A team of people run around collecting wet cardboard and a station is set up for dry socks.
Hanging things in the trees to dry is considered an obstruction of the view, so wet items can either be laid out on top of the wet tarps and hope for sun, or can be laid out on the wet concrete. If it is warm, the items can be worn in hopes that they will air dry.
Things that have been rain-soaked and then air-dried smell like a mix between bad morning breath, urine, pollution and a little mildew. Sleeping bags and blankets often take the longest to air out and tend to smell the worst. Needless to say, rain is more than the simple inconvenience of changing clothes.
So, when the dark rain cloud rolled in that afternoon, you would have expected people’s spirits to be dampened. Instead, it sent people running around the camp laying tarps and ponchos over all camping areas, giggling together about the swiftness with which the storm arrived.
Vowing that weather was the least of their worries, occupiers donned ponchos and umbrellas, drums, and signs of protest painted onto pizza boxes and took off in the downpour. Hundreds of people poured into the street for the second daily march. Drums roared, feet pounded the wet concrete, and voiced chanted protest slogans like the favorite; “THE PEOPLE, TOGETHER, WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED.”