More than 40 days, 30,000 feet of granite, hundreds of occupiers, and zero Porta-Potties — perhaps one of the most extraordinary aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement is the logistical finesse of its participants. As the protest nears its second month, Zuccotti Park has been transformed into a city within a city, complete with a kitchen, a sanitary team, a library and a sea of sleeping bags.
Protesters spend their days engaging in general assemblies and group discussions on issues like taxing the rich, cuts in public spending and tackling poverty.
Some liven up the crowd by singing and playing music.
Others browse the substantial OWS library, thick with books on social equality and political activism.
Food is prepared by volunteers in a makeshift kitchen at the center of the park.
When it’s time for lunch, protesters line up in front of the kitchen.
Inevitably a lot of garbage is produced, but the occupiers are attempting to be mindful of the environment. The group has built a system to convert organic waste into compost. They also recycle dishwater and use it to water plants and flowers in the park.
The big issue remains, however, the sanitary needs of the protesters. Some restaurants and cafes around the park have allowed protesters to use their bathrooms. But several businesses have complained about protesters soiling their restrooms.
As for the costs of sustaining life in the camp, funds have mainly come from donations. The financial arm of the protest was able to raise over $400,000 in donations, according to news websites.
Unless they are forced to leave the camp, the organizers of Occupy Wall Street say they can manage logistically to remain entrenched in Zuccotti Park for weeks or even months. The movement survived an attempt last month to remove them.
In the face of growing opposition, protesters maintain their calm and steely resolve with downward-facing dog and warrior poses.