City Paper is not for tourists
All public spaces are not created equal, as we know. And Freedom Plaza, a vast expanse of concrete inlaid with representations of the White House and the Capitol Complex, is about as livable as a barren tundra. Tents have overflowed the small grassy patches, and are resting on hard concrete. Communal services, like food, medical supplies, and media, are clustered in a corner; the central walkway between them is narrow and divided by a staircase, which makes it difficult to navigate. The evening gathering, called General Assembly, can only occur in the middle of the plateau. Although this has changed recently, for much of the time they’ve been there, the facilitator spoke using a mic in front of a bunch of chairs arranged in rows—not the most democratic way to hold a meeting.
Most devastatingly, there’s nothing of much value around the plaza. There’s the fortified wall of the Reagan building, the usually dark National Theatre, a blank office building, and the monumental staircase of D.C.’s city hall—not the people these protesters are targeting. There’s no reason for passersby to gothrough the plaza unless they’re curious about something inside it. All in all, a lonely place to hold an occupation.
Not that Lydia is against occupying! She points to McPherson Square as being the best place for long-term camping. Read the rest at Housing Complex.
Photo by Lydia DePillis