Anti-Wall Street protesters around the U.S. who are vowing to stand their ground against the police and politicians are also digging in against a different kind of adversary: cold weather.Everyone is calling it that? Really?
With the temperature dropping, they are stockpiling donated coats, blankets and scarves, trying to secure cots and military-grade tents, and getting survival tips from the homeless people who have joined their encampments.
"Everyone's been calling it our Valley Forge moment," said Michael McCarthy, a former Navy medic in Providence. "Everybody thought that George Washington couldn't possibly survive in the Northeast." Valley Forge in Pennsylvania was the site of the Continental Army's winter camp during the Revolutionary War.
These tools are now comparing themselves to George Washington and his men? Good grief. But not only are there comparisons to the Continental Army, but to today's battlefield conditions.
"I welcome the challenge of this cold weather," said Dwayne Hudson, a landscaper who has been living at the Occupy Denver site for nearly two weeks. "This is like war. You know, soldiers do it when they occupy a place. I'm sure the mountains of Afghanistan get pretty cold."Funny, but I don't hear our soldiers whine like that.
But after the first snowfall, he admitted: "It's getting tough."
Eric Martin, who is on Occupy Boston's winterization committee, said the group had raised about $35,000, which could help buy winter supplies. Various ideas are being discussed to keep tents warm without using combustion-based heaters, which are forbidden. Another proposal: igloos.Indigenous peoples are laughing at them.
"We're looking at ideas from military vets to survivalists, to the homeless community to indigenous peoples," Martin said.