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Occupy Congress: How to get there

Update:  Here’s some coverage from TPM on Occupy Iowa Caucuses.  The occupiers are suggesting that Iowans go to their caucuses and declare themselves uncommitted to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the slate of candidates of BOTH parties.  That’s going to have more of an impact on the Democratic slate, IMHO.  And this is not a joke.  It’s not supposed to be humorous.  It’s a genuine statement of disgust and will signal to the parties (especially the party currently in charge) that they cannot serve two masters.  They’re going to have to choose: the masters with the money but not the votes or the masters with the votes and no money.  I’m wondering if Occupy Iowa is going to get an assist of some sort from Occupy Chicago.  The Chicago Occupiers have a knack for clever direct action events.  This should be interesting.

Occupy Congress #J17:

Are you going?

At the Occupy Congress logistics page, you can find several transportation options. There’s no excuse not to go.  Buses are leaving to go to Washington, DC from all over the east coast and even as far west as Texas.  Reservations on an Occupy Bus are cheap.  My reservation from Trenton was a whopping $35.00!  (Thank you very much, contributors).  But if you don’t have the money for even that, consider hitching a ride with someone in your area through Ride Buzz.  And there’s a Mega Bus option that is supposedly giving away 200,000 free rides to DC (Someone generous donor must be footing the bill for this).

The schedule of events for Occupy Congress stretches all the way to January 23, if you feel like winter camping that long.

All you have to do is show up.  That’s it.  Just show up and occupy the space you take up along with the thousands of others who will be joining you.  Let Congress know you’re serious.

Marsha, who is coming in from Tucson to DC, asked what to wear.  So these are all of my suggestions for those of you who are from warmer climates.  This list is based on my experiences skiing and chaperoning a bunch of 8th graders on a overnight field trip to a Y-camp in March right in the middle of a cold snap:

1.) Warm jacket.  I recommend either a warm down parka or a fleece pullover with weatherproof shell.

2.) Thermal underwear.  I can’t stress this enough.  If you are going to be outdoors all day in the winter, these are a must.  You can get them anywhere they sell outdoor sports clothing.  Check LL Bean or EMS if you don’t have a store like this around you.  Some of these items are expensive.  If you’re never likely to use them again, you might want to just opt for a pair of long tights that you can buy at macys.

3.) Socks.  Get lightweight wool hiking socks with liners.

4.) Sweater, fleece or flannel layered over a T-Shirt.  When I go skiing, I wear a performance fabric T-shirt because cotton Ts tend to absorb a lot of moisture when you’re active and it just makes you cold.  Again, outdoor sports stores have good choices here.  They don’t have to be expensive.

5.) Hat, scarf, gloves and mittens.  If you are in the northeast, you’ll notice an irritating habit of retailers to stop selling gloves in the middle of winter.  So, stock up now if you can find them.  The cheap disposable gloves that you don’t mind losing can be found in your grocery store in multiple packs.  Bring them with you so that people from Florida and Arizona don’t get frostbite.  Also, CVS sells little chemical heating pouches for about a dollar a pair.  They last for hours.  Just tuck them into your pockets.

6.) Comfortable shoes.  This is THE most important item you can bring.  I’m planning to wear my lightweight Merrill hiking boots because they are comfortable and you can walk for miles in them without getting tired.

7.) Last but not least, bring a water bottle.  In the other occupy marches I’ve been to in NYC, the event organizers handed out water but then we have to remember to pick up our litter later and find a recycle bin and it’s a bit of a hassle.  So, I recommend this cool collapsible water bottle that you can buy at Eddie Bauer.  Fill it up before your event and stick it in your backpack.  When it’s empty, just roll it up take it back home with you.

8.) One other thing: in Zuccotti park, there weren’t any lights allowed in the evening.  I never camped there but when I do go camping, I take a headlamp with me.  They’re indispensible.

33 Responses

  1. Great post, RD. Thanks

  2. And I give — Where’s the megabus coupon code?

    • I have no fricking idea. I’ve looked all over for it. Maybe it’s one of those mysterious secrets that are only known among the occupiers. There’s a rally bus leaving from Portland, Maine. It shouldn’t be too expensive.

  3. I think the code might be, GOFREE …. [EDIT: apparently there is only one ‘special’ ticket per bus … but prices on the mega bus are pretty reasonable]

    It feels kind of creepy to post this link. But there’s a dKos diary from December regarding the 200,000 free rides.

    There actually is (I think) at least one good reason for not going. I’m fighting a chronic cold and bronchitis and I really can’t do it. (heartbroken)

    • Get well, Kbird, and use plenty of mentholatum. We’ll get cold for you. Remind me to pack my long thermal undies. There are some flannel lined jeans for sale at Eddie Bauer. Seriously considering this as an investment.

  4. Party time!

    Since I live in Tucson where it was 80 degrees yesterday, I am totally unprepared for DC in January. I just bought a knee-length down parka… that makes me look like the Michelin Tire guy, but – hey – it should keep me warm.

    Trying to figure out what to wear to keep my tootsies warm…..

    • wool socks over a pair of cotton ones

    • If you have an EMS or that kind of store near you (Eddie Bauer type), get some hiking socks with liners. They don’t have to be super thick. Bring comfortable shoes because there will be a lot of walking. Layers are good. I have thermal underwear for skiing that I’m planning to bring. They’re long and not much heavier than tights. Lightweight T-shirts topped with a sweater. When skiing, I try to stay away from all cotton Ts because when you sweat, they absorb too much moisture and eventually make you cold. So some kind of performance fabric would be good. Cheap flannel shirt would also work instead of sweater, which can be bulky. I’m wearing my Merrill hiking boots because they are very comfortable and lightweight.
      Also, pick up a hat, scarf and mittens or gloves. You might be able to get a hat in DC in January but for some reason, retailers stop selling gloves in NJ in the middle of winter. So, I will bring some with me because I have a ton of them. I also recommend those chemical heating pouches for your pockets. They sell the disposable ones at CVS for about a dollar (for a pair) and the reusable ones for $10 at the mall. I like the mall ones but I’m a cheapskate since the layoff.

    • Marsha, here’s a DC weather link:

      http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Washington+DC+USDC0001

      My climate is similar to Washington’s. When dashing from car to store, I can get away with less warm clothing. What I found out when I walked for an hour in cold, in rain, in snow was that sustained outside activity called for a to-the-knee winter parka with hood, a warm hat and scarf, gloves (wool or ski-type), warm socks, comfortable athletic shoes, and, sometimes, an umbrella. [Since my parka is white, I looked like a snow(wo)man.]

      Having said that, our weather has been changeable from day to day.
      Today is the coldest day we’ve had, 28 degrees. Tonight the forecast is 18 degrees. Even if the weather in Washington is warmer, high winds can make 48 degrees seem cold.

      Let’s review the 10-day DC weather forecast on January 9th. RD will allow us to discuss “weather” on Monday.

      • RD’s comfortable hiking boots, I assume water-proof, are a better idea than athletic shoes which can absorb water. Keeping ears/ head, hands, and feet warm is as crucial as warming the body/torso to being able to stay outside for long periods of time.

      • Good points. We won’t be dashing between car and building though. We’re going to be outside – all day. I still recommend thermal underwear. When the wind blows, it can almost be painful without that extra layer especially if you’ve been standing and marching for 8+ hours like I was on Nov 17. It got really cold and I forgot to bring a hat and gloves. Walking on the Brooklyn bridge that night was uncomfortable.

        • Yeah, thermal underwear is a must for all day protesting. I have some cheap silk undershirts and longjohns that work well.

          O, brother, I checked the bus times and we here would be leaving at 12:45AM to arrive at 9:00 “at the start of the occupation.”

          Marsha has a day and a half bus ride. And I’m complaining!

          I’ll cheer ya’ll on virtually, hee, hee!

          • Ha – I have a 5 hour plane ride!!

            Your input is great. I will come prepared. Are you going to join us on the Mall?

          • Arran, did you say you lived near Cherokee? Because that kinda is a long haul. I was really surprised at how long a drive it was.

    • hat hat hat hat hat….heat escapes from your head much faster than from the rest of your body and the single most important component for keeping warm is a good hat that covers your ears. The reason it should cover your ears is that you can get a wicked painful ear ache from cold air. It is not fun.
      Also, chap-stick is key. You probably need it where you live. You would be amazed at how much you need it in the cold.
      RD suggested leotards. I find that they make me colder because they are tight against my skin. The air needs to circulate to stay warm, so loose clothing works better IMO. For that reason I also wear mittens instead of gloves when it is practical.

  5. BTW – buses are also coming from California. Check out the Occupy San Diego FB page for information. I think they are making stops along the way to pick up other Occupiers.

    And there is a Occupy Greyhound effort, too.

  6. AND…you can post a request on the “Occupy Congress on January 17, 2012” FB page and ask others to contact you if they are coming from your area.

  7. the pictures will be great. 🙂

  8. Sorry if this link is a duplicate of something RD has already posted….but it breaks down transportation options from various areas of the country – and talks about camping, etc.

    http://www.occupyyourcongress.info/transportation/

  9. RD – what suggestions for electronics? I have an I-phone and a digital camera (with a spare battery). Does an I-Pad add anything to the mix?

    Got my Merrell hiking boots, actually bought gloves last month (it was cold here for a few days) – for long undies – is silk better/warmer?

    Tomorrow AM = a shopping trip to Summit Hut here in Tucson…thank heavens Tucsonans love to hike and climb.

    • It sounds like you are almost there! I have a pair of silk undies but really, it’s up to you. Weather can be somewhat unpredictable here. You could get a day where it’s below freezing in January or it could be in the 50’s. That’s why the layers are good. You can also take them off.
      I am bringing by flip camera, laptop, iphone and ipad. The laptop will allow me to work while I’m in transit but you definitely want to leave it at your sleeping place. The ipads are pretty good for occupations especially if you have an ipad2. I have a first generation ipad that doesn’t have a camera but I can blog on it with the WordPress app. I’ve seen a lot of ipad2s at occupations because you can shoot video and take pictures so their great for catching some cop beating the crap out of someone.

      The most important thing to bring with you is your chargers. I don’t know what network coverage is like in DC but in NYC, it just sucks. So iphones tend to ping the network looking for a signal and chew up the battery life very quickly. Assume that you will drain the battery fast and bring your charger with you so that you can duck into a Starbucks and juice up.

  10. When you said network coverage sucks at first I though you meant ABC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC and NBC not wi-fi.

    For those of you that can make it -best wishes and stay safe. If you can do it, flood the comments sections at the various news network web sites with comments should they do their predicted hatchet job on you. Occupy Congress and the Print and Broadcast media.

  11. Question:

    If caucusers vote “uncommitted”, is the number of “uncommitted” caucusers reflected in a proportional number of “uncommitted” delegates?

    Then too, I thought the Democratic Party was not having any primaries or caucuses this time whatsoever. Are there states in which
    Democratic caucuses or primaries being held? If not, just exactly where are Democrats supposed to vote “uncommitted” at?

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record (for those readers who are old enough to know what records are), I hope disgruntled Democrats will invade the Republican primaries and vote for the Least Scary Republican nfor nominee. (For strategericic/tactitional reasons I think Romney would be the best investment of that vote). Some people like me will vote for Obama all over again if we are faced with the alternative of a President Perry/Gingrich/Santorum/Bachmann/Paylinn.

    Or also, to wreak real havoc, DDs (Disgruntled Democrats) could invade the R primaries and vote for Paul. That might be the thing to do for DDs or XDs who will not vote for Obama no matter what hideous Christian Land-And-Nation fascist gargoyle the Rs nominate.

    • I think there’s still a primary even if it’s mostly meaningless. NJ used to have theirs in June long after there wasn’t any point.
      I think uncommitted does send a message more than swapping parties. Party swapping just looks like political games to me. So what if Ron paul wins Iowa. He can’t win the nomination. But if voters start saying that NO ONE is acceptable, then the party that has the most to lose may start paying attention. So, uncommitted is the way to go, IMHO.

      • For people like me who think that some Presidents can be worse than others in kind, not just in degree; party-swapping is survivalist self-defense rather than being a political game.

        Since I believe that an Armageddonite Rapturanian President (Bachmann, Paylinn) or a Dominionist President (Huckabee) or a Dominionist feltrav-symp President (Perry) or a Christian Land and Nation Fascist President ( Santorum or Gingrich) would be worse in kind than Obama . . . I look to see if the Republicans are offering anyone who would merely be worse in degree than Obama. And they are offering two candidates who are not really any different than Obama, just a darker meaner version of Obama. And those are the two Mormons ( Romney or Huntsman).

        The Mormons are neither Rapturanian Armageddonites nor Dominionists, (though they may have elements of Christian Land And Nation fascism.) As such, they would not pose the deadly danger that
        the other R choices would pose if elected President. So if the Rs nominated HuntsRomney, I would be free to vote against Obama because my life and survival will not be threatened by President HuntsRomney. So I reregister R to vote for Romney in self-defense, not to play games.

        If one believes that a Rapturist Armageddonite President or a Dominionist President or a CLAN fascist President wouldn’t pose a higher level of personal danger than a Mormon President, then party-primary-switching would appear to be a game. And that is a risk one may wish to take. Since, as someone said on a prior thread, a President Gingrich is a bridge too far for me; then dismissing primary party switching as playing games is for me a risk too far to run.

        I suspect several million people feel the same way as I do. If the Rs are allowed to nominate a Radioactive Waste Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever candidate, then Obama will get those several million votes; including mine. If one really dislikes Obama enough to want to get real revenge on Obama, one might well want to see Romney nominated so as to set those several million voters free to vote their hatred for Obama rather than their fear of a Republican Rwandacaust.
        I know many sensible people are tempted to dismiss fear of a Republican Rwandacaust as silly tinfoil twittering. It would be well to retarget Ronald Reagan’s warning that “there’s a bear in the woods” against some of today’s R lineup.

  12. Some more thought on the expected media coverage of Occupy Congress.

    If a protester drops a coffee stirer it will be front page news on how they’re trashing Our Nations Capitol.

    There will be intervires with immigrants, probably Eastern European, on how they lost business due to the crowds. The reporter will be sure to bring out the fact that the immigrant came to America to escape what ever repressive regime and economic system there was in his foremr home and how the OWS crowd wants that same economic system here.

    Oh and don’t forget the story about the students who could make it to their local elementry school and the little old ladies who couldn’t get to the senior center.

    • Those immigrants manning the grease wagons at Zuccotti park made a fortune on that occupation. It was a constant stream of business.

  13. […] Occupy Congress: How to get there Riverdaughter At the Occupy Congress logistics page, you can find several transportation options. There’s no excuse not to go.  Buses are leaving to go to Washington, DC from all over the east coast and even as far west as Texas.  Reservations on an Occupy Bus are cheap.  My reservation from Trenton was a whopping $35.00!  (Thank you very much, contributors).  But if you don’t have the money for even that, consider hitching a ride with someone in your area through Ride Buzz.  And there’s a Mega Bus option that is supposedly giving away 200,000 free rides to DC (Someone generous donor must be footing the bill for this). […]

  14. […] Occupy Congress: How to get there Riverdaughter At the Occupy Congress logistics page, you can find several transportation options. There’s no excuse not to go.  Buses are leaving to go to Washington, DC from all over the east coast and even as far west as Texas.  Reservations on an Occupy Bus are cheap.  My reservation from Trenton was a whopping $35.00!  (Thank you very much, contributors).  But if you don’t have the money for even that, consider hitching a ride with someone in your area through Ride Buzz.  And there’s a Mega Bus option that is supposedly giving away 200,000 free rides to DC (Someone generous donor must be footing the bill for this). […]

  15. They should have done this a long time ago instead of OccupyWallStreet. Well, As they say, it is better late than never..

    • What I mean is OccupyCongress..Maybe they could OccupyWashingtonMonument, too ala Martin Luther King?

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