|Tents up during the day, cozy, huh?|
|At night tents must be collapsed,
no shelter at night.
Sleeping outside in winter, no matter how good the camping equipment we may have, is not safe. We (Occupiers) have a choice, a choice to go somewhere and sleep in a warm , dry bed in a heated house where we wake to the gentle gurgling of Mr. Coffee as it brews our morning cup. It is a luxury I have grown to appreciate, a basic human need like shelter that so many of us take for granted. The longer I Occupy the more determined I become that we must also fight for the portion of the 99% that no longer has access to this basic human need. They are families and individuals who have been made homeless by the cruelty of our political and economic system as homes are foreclosed and the costs of rental properties continues to consume a larger portion of one’s income. They are also the Mentally Ill, the victims, the “not quite right” whose support systems no longer exist due to the massive cuts in social service programs.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s there were tent cities all over the country. Today our homeless are less visible and our society wants to keep it that way. As in many other parts of the world, our Occupation sites are the scene of nightly police raids demanding that we dismantle our tents, leaving us out in the cold with only sleeping bags and tarps as shelter from the elements.
Our tent city occupations can serve as a visual reminder that we are in the same dire situation we were in the 30s, we just have more sophisticated tools of distraction and a society that lives in greater denial and disregard.
© 2010-2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard