Friday, November 11, 2011

Occupy Boise Works to Maintain Positive Public Relations

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 9:27 AM

As the Occupy Boise encampment prepares to enter its second week, protesters are just starting to settle in and get comfortable.

“The first day was really cold. I don’t know if it’s that we adjusted or that it’s been less cold, but it seems like it’s been getting easier as time goes on,” said Jake Krahn, a member of the group.

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On a typical evening this week, just as the workday was ending, occupiers were busy having conversations about politics and campground logistics, working on their shelters, holding a workshop, and playing music.

Citydesk spoke with a few passersby near the area to catch some public opinion on the encampment.

“I’ve heard about it through the news, but I don’t really know a lot about it,” said Christopher Wallace, a local businessman. “As far as I’m concerned, they’re free to do it.“

Jess Olavarria, a retiree who lives in the area, said, “I think their message needs to be clearer. A lot of people don’t understand what their message is. They may have some well-founded reason for doing what they’re doing, but what’s their message? Nobody knows.”

Emeric Thrope, a web designer who lives down the street from the encampment, said, “I think it’s awesome, I think it’s great, fantastic. I support it all the way. I think that anytime people take up what they believe in it’s a really beautiful thing. I don’t think there’s any reason not to support it really.”

He added, “I enjoy having them as neighbors.”

The members of Occupy Boise are trying their best to ensure healthy relations with their neighboring citizens and businesses.

“We’ve been making sure that the place stays clean, and trying to be respectful to the grounds,” said Richard Figinski, an occupier. “It’s part of our good-neighbor policy that we all consented upon at our general assembly; that we need to respect public and private property, including the veteran’s memorial here. We’re trying our best to be respectful of everything while at the same time reclaiming our public property to empower ourselves.”

Members of the encampment try to be conscious of a few things. “We have quiet hours that coincide with public ordinance,” said Krahn. “We make sure that everyone’s picking up and keeping things clean, we make sure people are keeping the sidewalks clear, and we don’t pester people when they walk by unless they stop to chat.”

A veterans tent at the Occupy Boise encampment
  • A veteran's tent at the Occupy Boise encampment.

A housing structure at the Occupy Boise encampment
  • A housing structure at the Occupy Boise encampment.

Information booth at the Occupy Boise encampment
  • Information booth at the Occupy Boise encampment.

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