My experience with Occupy Providence this week-end was crazy, sad, exiting, fun, educational.
I was talking to my brother about the snow coming saturday, and he brought up "the people in that park downtown" how they will all be going home tomorrow because of the snow, and i said i didn't think so. So that give me the idea to take a drive by to see how thing was progressing. about 8:15 pm i got there and they were at the statue, they were passing along information (by echoing each other). I just listened for a while, learned that they had a petition at one of the booths that turned out to be a sort of information booth. I read then signed it, walked around for an hour or more (until i couldn't feel my feet). as i was walking though many people passed me and told me food was being served. I was surpised that they were so organized, they have set hours for meals,meetings and other things. The information booth could tell you were to find what is going on within the camp as well as what is planned (something at india piont park saturday). I left with a good feeling, i liked what was going on, but i had not interacted just been a spectator.
I went home and packed my car with items to give,i wanted to be invovled.
Saturday morning i arrived about 9:30 am, car load, as i was unpacking my car i had my trunk open getting things out a meter reader came by walked past me still in my trunk and stopped at the front of my car and give me a $25 ticket. Normally as i visit the library weekly they see you , they say something if you are there and parked wrongly,she said not a word and did not even look at the meter which had time on it but she saw me pull up and not put anything in the meter. I put down the things, walked to the front of my car and held my hand out for the ticket, i did not say a thing, she gave me the ticket all the while refusing to look at me.I looked at the meter and it still had 8 minutes on it but i could not complain she saw me drive up and not put any thing in the meter. she moved on and started tell a group of people that they could not stand on the street, that they should not have their children out here. (they seem to have been holding a parking spot for someone by standing in the spot).
Any way i went up to a man cooking and asked what could i do to help,he told me he had just came to give support, he was a chef at a hotel and he was cooking ormelets to order. He called another man and introduced him (Mike)in charge of and volunteers, who asked me if i cooked (My speciality) but i was not about to try to cook beside a chef, i cut veggies for him, after meeting (Dave) who was in charge of organizing the donations. I turned over my load. Asked what did they need the most and if anything else i could do? sugar,tuna, plates. he also said that some people were coming by daily and picking up supplies and cooking at home and bringing it back. i volunteered for Sunday's dinner i would supply the food.
I arrived as promised with supplies ( sugar, tuna, fruits, plates ect.)and my husband in tow, he is always amazed at what America allows.(he didn't want me to go because he heard that the police was evicting them and i might get arrested). When we got there it was about 7pm we walked around, my husband is bold and more outgoing asked a lot a questions and at one piont took off with some guy name Kenneth to meet and talk and listen to the drums they were playing. There were a rap session going on and he was in ah'. We read and ken explained all the signs posted around the park. We both could not believe how many people was staying out there that night in all that cold rain and snow.
I raced home to cook and arrived with food right at 8:06 pm, dinner time, With my husband. We stayed only a short while, but while we were there they were having announcments(again by echo-gramming) they were informing people of the up coming deadline to move out of the park. And the civil protest laws and if anyone for any reason could no longer be invovled they should do what is necessary for their well being (so to speak). Again the police is out giving tickets (did not get one this time) and just standing around waiting for anything to happen. So far i see only a peaceful gathering, how ever i noticed that alot of the regular homless has joined them. a man Bobby was standing by me they were asking people why they came, what they thought of the movement etc. he did not go up their but he was telling my husband and my self that he and his wife came from Conn. they were homless their and just thought they would come here. but his wife had gotten sick as she has MS. (I suggested that tho' the movemnet was great maybe it was not for her that maybe she should try to get into a shelter just for the night. also told him about a clothing bank as he mentioned he had pretty much whats on his back.) one thing i didn't notice was if they had resource infor for this purpose?