Some circled Sept. 17 as "Constitution Day" or "Citizenship Day." Tens of thousands of self-proclaimed 99 percenters saw the third Monday in September as the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which spread to scores of the world's cities, including Boise.
"Happy anniversary, Occupy citizens," said the message from Occupy Boise, welcoming protesters back to the grounds in front of the Old Ada County Courthouse, which saw an eight-month tent city grow through the fall and winter of 2011-2012 into a more symbolic presence when the tents came down in June. That's when U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ordered the occupiers to disappear--for at least eight weeks--while the State of Idaho performed lawn maintenance.
But when Occupy Boise returned Sept. 17, its presence was much more portable.
"It shouldn't take us more than an hour to set up and an hour to move out, just in case we have to vacate for groundskeeping," occupier Gene Bray told Citydesk.
Fellow Occupier Barbara Kemp added, "You wouldn't want free speech to interfere with lawn mowers and sprinklers."
Winmill's eight-week ban ended more than a month ago, but occupiers face a litany of new restrictions, enacted by the Idaho Department of Administration in its effort to control similar protests.
"No sleeping, no loitering, no cooking." Bray counted off more than a dozen "no's" that he printed out on signs--some more serious than others--that also included no assembly for more than four hours and no snoring.
Occupy Boise organizers spent the anniversary recruiting volunteers as "vigil keepers" to attend the protest site each day between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
In particular, occupiers said they wanted to call greater attention to Boise's homeless citizens and crafted what she called a "homeless wish list," on which the homeless could categorize their immediate needs. Meanwhile, the homeless--or anyone else--can't consider Occupy Boise a home, temporary or otherwise. But the vigil site has definitely returned.