With bitter cold weather’s impending arrival in D.C. and snow seen as increasingly likely for the surrounding area, the need for warmth is becoming a top priority for Occupy DC protesters in McPherson Square.
On an otherwise bright and sunny day, the bitter wind ruffled Kelly Mears’s tent Friday as he attempted to “weatherproof” his adopted home and adjoining “tech/ops” tent.
Mears, 24, said he’s been at the park for 28 days, and while donations of tents, blankets and outerwear have kept him and other Occupy DC protesters warm as the temperatures dropped, he said it’s now time for the group’s “winterization” committee to start spending donation money on the things people need and deciding who gets what.
“We’re kind of going from occupier to occupier asking, ‘Hey, what do you need?’ ” Mears said.
Head-to-toe wool clothing, sleeping bags and better tents are on their lists.
The medical tent, donated by National Nurses United earlier this month, was quiet Friday, but tables full of Kleenex, sunblock, Lysol wipes and cough drops were available for protesters. The Washington Examiner reported Thursday that tent workers have seen everything from foot infections following the recent rainy weather to people who haven’t had proper medical care in years.
The group will be deciding as soon as possible how to spend “thousands of dollars” on winterproofing the camp and keeping people safe, Mears said. The protest’s finance committee accepts around $1,500 to $2,000 a day in cash donations.
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