BALTIMORE – It has been a month since the Occupy Baltimore movement took over space at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor on Oct. 4, and winter is fast approaching.
The group is planning to erect larger, winterized tents for the activists who are camping out on McKeldin Square.
“The aesthetic will improve, the safety will improve, the accountability will improve,” said Damien Nichols, an Occupy Baltimore activist.
Ashley Bridges, another Occupy Baltimore activist, isn’t worried about the cold.
“I feel, if you’re dedicated enough, you can make it work,” she said. “You’ll figure out something you can do to try and adjust to the temperature.”
Bridges has camped out at McKeldin Square since the start of the occupy movement in Baltimore.
The group has developed a system of about 20 committees to regulate the group’s affairs. There are committees in charge of food, shelter, media, medicine, the group’s goals and purposes, and other issues.
Though the group does not yet have a single goal, the Occupy Baltimore activists are working to come up with solutions to the problems they see with society.
The group holds a “general assembly” meeting every night where it determines its next move.
“That’s the main venue for the democratic process that goes on here,” said Jerry Raitzyk, the director of the Chesapeake Juggling Institute and an Occupy Baltimore activist. “Everybody has a chance to have their say. Sometimes we try to make decisions… some are put off until another time because there are a lot of suggestions.”
Bridges thinks that the lack of a single direction makes the movement great.
“I like it because we’re not just protesting one thing. It’s multiple categories of issues we have in society,” she said.
Nichols thinks that ultimately the movement will lead the activists back to their communities and away from McKeldin Square.
“I think we’re going to start moving out from our specific occupation locations into our communities to start doing the work ourselves that we think our governments should be doing, providing what we think the corporations should be providing,” said Nichols. “We need to do these things for each other because the corporations will only do it for profit.”