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With a Kitchen, Library, Medical Area, a Community Emerges at Wall Street Encampment

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In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested on Monday that protesters at Occupy Wall Street could stay encamped in Lower Manhattan indefinitely. He told reporters: “The bottom line is, people want to express themselves, and as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to.” We talk to a group of activists about how they have helped turn Zuccotti Park into a community where hundreds sleep and thousands congregate every day. [includes rush transcript]

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Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

ALICE: Hi. My name is Alice. I’m from Brooklyn. And we are serving food. There was actually a farmer who drove up from North Carolina with a truckload of produce. So we cooked it all weekend, and now we are serving it.

AMY GOODMAN: Where did you cook it?

ALICE: At my house.

AMY GOODMAN: So what are you serving tonight?

ALICE: We have like a mix veggie succotash, black beans, rice, curry squash, mixed curry vegetables. We have hard-boiled eggs that have like dollar signs on them so you can crush capitalism. We got 420 eggs, so there’s baked frittata. And I think that’s it.

AMY GOODMAN: How many people are you serving?

ALICE: They said 500. So, I don’t know. I’ve never done this before, so I don’t actually know how the portions will translate. But 500 was the goal.

JOSH: My name’s Josh. And the correctional officers’ union president came here and donated like enough food to feed like 800 people. And then they also gave us like a $500, like, stipend. And he took me to buy a bunch of supplies that we needed for our wish list. And they’re planning on coming back here tomorrow. That was the—it was pretty interesting. They had a little friction with actually the police department when they pulled up. And the correction officers, the president—Norman Seabrook, I think his name is—had a little standoff with the cops there when they pulled up.

DEBORAH: My name is Deborah. I’m from Madison, Wisconsin. We developed a greywater system, because in our new world order, we’re going to have a sustainable economy.

AMY GOODMAN: And what does “greywater” mean?

DEBORAH: Greywater means that when you’re washing dishes, there’s a lot of nutrient from the food and the soaps that come off, so we try to filter the water through wood chips and some other things in this barrel so that a lot of the nutrients gets filtered out, then the water passes through the tanks where the plants are growing. Those plants will take a lot of that nutrient up. And then, finally, the water passes through the pebbles. More sediment filters out. And the greywater, with most of the icky stuff gone, comes out of the bucket at the bottom. And then that’s the more appropriate water to use for watering the trees and flowers in the park.

AMY GOODMAN: And I see you have a compost bucket.

DEBORAH: Yes, we have a compost bin. We’re recycling. We’re trying to just be totally sustainable here.

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