by April Foster
At the Occupy Boise vigil site, there are no longer any signs of cooking activity, warm fires or bedding materials. Still, there are plenty of tents and bodies present.
Since March 2, Occupiers have been working busily to bring the vigil site into compliance with new state law. On Monday evening, it appeared that the Occupiers were operating within the bounds of the new regulations.
“The biggest thing was getting folks that needed places to stay, places to stay,” said Occupier Katie Fite, referring to the homeless population that used to live at the site. “Then some of the stove and cooking materials were removed so there’s no indicia of cooking. The Legislature would have you shiver in the cold and not sleep, to be able to hold a protest. But we’re still out here and plan to keep enduring this.”
With the recent changes, Occupiers were still trying to figure out what the revised function and purpose of their location would be.
“The tents are still here as symbols, and we have a 24-hour vigil,” said Occupier Barbara Kemp. “So I feel like what we’ve secured here is a commons and town square, and we hope to meet with lots of groups around the state. We’re welcoming; we want to cooperate and coordinate, talk about the needs of our citizens and how we can consult for the common good and petition our Legislature with our grievances.”
With a reoriented vigil site and warm spring weather on the horizon, Occupy Boise members are hoping to reignite some of the enthusiasm and excitement that marked its beginnings.
“We have plans and hopes that people will start asking what we’re here for,” said Fite. “We hope the public will recognize that we’re trying to help the majority of folks have a government that responds to citizen’s needs, as opposed to just the corporations and businesses that can pay lobbyists and bend their ears.”