FlyingPurple: the majority of those costs was because of the local gov't sending the police force out to the encampment to cause disturbances. They have to pay the uniformed officers and the plain-clothed ones they planted within the protest. Also, they have to fund the resources they use such as tear gas and rubber bullets. Those things are not free, but the local gov't decided they were wise investments. Your argument holds little water. The occupiers, as a whole, don't want to destroy anything. Of course there will be those that decide to join just to stir trouble, but the organism that we have become is constantly working to remove those infections.
As far as the ones downtown, we haven't had a single city worker even pick up a cigarette butt. In fact, you can go by there right now and see that we even let them go about their business as usual setting up the city Christmas decor that YOUR tax dollars paid for. Also, did you know that YOUR tax dollars are paying for the guard that stays there through the night and for all of the lights, inside and out, to stay on 24/7?
If anything, we've saved money since we are taking careful care of the lawn we are on as much as possible.
Glacier: I actually did take a bath today. And yesterday. And the day before. So has just about everyone else. We are not an unclean group. Yes, there are a few that spend more time on site than the others, but we take care of them, too, and get them showers if they live too far away.
As a whole, I would encourage you all to come to the site and have a conversation with any of us or even attend one of the General Assemblies that we hold every night at 7. See what we are about and see that we all have our stories and come from different backgrounds. Most of us work or belong to families that do. Some of us go to school. Those of us with families rotate which spouse is on site.
Also I'm a student who works two jobs just to break even. The job board is to inform anyone that it's coming for one like Larry who was mentioned in the article.
Occupy chattanooga receives no funding from anyone. Everything you see at the camp site was donated. COA isn't involved at all. We worked hard to make sure of that. We don't need a single message because there is too cast of a scope of things that need to change. This will be our strength. Not our weakness. Having one single focus only gives us a short term stopping point. If you have ever tried to change anything in your personal life I'm sure you would find it much easier to change a whole bunch of things together rather than one thing at a time. Please just come to the court house and chat with us if you truly seek to understand what we are about and how we operate and why we chose or approach.