Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s incredibly stupid and reckless decision to stop the fire department from giving water to participants of the Occupy National Gathering during a heat wave has now been reversed in the wake of the public outcry.
But it wasn’t an isolated incident. As Kevin Gosztola reported, only the day before organizers had been prevented from bringing a water cooler to the gathering in a federal park by officials who claimed they “didn’t have a permit.”
The dangers of dehydration and its contribution to serious heat related illness are well known. And as we have seen in the past, tactics used against one group of protesters will quickly be deployed against others across the country. The goal is to make it as difficult as possible to protest against the oligarchical looters who are pillaging both our economic and natural resources.
I can’t claim we saw this one coming, but Occupy Supply did send BPA-free fold-up water bottles to the National Gathering to keep people hydrated in the heat. They were a huge success. If you haven’t seen them, take a look at them in the Occupy Supply store…they’re super light-weight, BPA-free, made in the USA and attach to your belt or backpack with a carabiner. When they’re empty, you can just roll them up and they snap into a small bundle that can fit in your pocket.
Brian Sonenstein and Kevin Gosztola went to the #NatGat and reported that everyone was carrying an OS fold-up bottle with them. They really made it easy for people to carry water, and they can also be frozen to insure that the water stays cool.
So we’d like to make sure that other Occupy groups engaging in actions this summer are likewise equipped to handle the state’s latest dehydration tactic (whoever came up with that one should do time in some lower bardo of hell). We’re launching the Occupy Summer Water Fund specifically to help Occupy groups across the country keep their people hydrated in the heat.
As always, 100% of the money raised will go to supplying the Occupations. Alternately, you can buy a water bottle for yourself in the Occupy Supply store and we’ll donate one to an occupation.