A request for DC’s Occupiers

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Max Cook’

Whether you agree with the protestors occupying McPherson Square or not, you have to admit their staying power is impressive. Since the encampment began a few weeks ago, a 24/7 presence has been run in the park in the heart of downtown DC, a park that just underwent about half a million dollars in work, including about $200,000 in new sod for the park. The protestors are vowing to continue on through the winter.

The conditions with the rain and the occupation have gone downhill a bit, and it has been reported that later today the Park Service will be handing out flyers concerning the longterm future of the protests and the park. I have to hope that there is some kernel of care among the DC occupiers that will germinate in a plan to self-police the park and rotate the tent city at least a bit to prevent the destruction of hundreds of thousands of dollars of recent work to the park. Or, at a bare minimum, some commitment to cleaning up the park on the conclusion of the protest.

If you are a peoples’ movement, and I do believe that you are, have the decency to treat our public space with kindness when you’re done. We told the Tea Party the same thing.

I live and work in the District of Columbia. I write at We Love DC, a blog I helped start, I work at Technolutionary, a company I helped start, and I’m happy doing both. I enjoy watching baseball, cooking, and gardening. I grow a mean pepper, keep a clean scorebook, and wash the dishes when I’m done. Read Why I Love DC.

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7 thoughts on “A request for DC’s Occupiers

  1. Hi Tom!

    I’m part of the Occupy DC media team and I caught this on my Twitter feed. We do have a sanitation team engaged in daily and weekly cleanup of the park and surrounding area, and there are discussions underway on the possibility of resodding any injured grass areas if and when the time comes for our departure from McPherson Square.

    We’re very aware that this park is public space, and that as its current occupants we have a responsibility to care for it and leave it in good condition for the future. We’re working on new ideas every day to make sure we do just that.

    Thanks for thinking of us, and we hope you’ll come see our regular improvements at the park!

  2. Justin,

    Thanks for replying, I appreciate it. I do believe that the group should do more than have discussions about re-sodding, I think you need to commit to doing it. That’s brand new grass that your group is currently on, and if it’s destroyed, that’d be a real shame.

  3. Consider your comments well-taken, and know that (speaking for myself) I take this very seriously and am pushing to be sure the resodding happens and that we do even more than that. I want to leave McPherson better than we found it.

  4. Can I just say that as important as the question of trampled grass may be…the question the trampling of the entire middle and working class plus global environment is larger. Can we please stay focused on the issues here. The group has replanted grass and will resod the grass. Can we move on now to bigger and more important discussions? If the system were working right people wouldn’t be needing to camp out in public parks just to have the citizens’ voices heard to begin with. Come on, people.

  5. Tom, I agree with Matt, the issue is not sod, but Jobs. If you support the Jobs for the Middle Class they can pay for Sod and more in taxes to fix your precious Sod. People are more important than Parks and hundreds of People Trample the Mall Every year and the Grass is always messed up and our tax dollars always go towards fixing up the mall after every rally or protest. That is part of out Tax, tourism and other dollars that is part of living in the nation’s capitol. Please support the Occupy movement and focus on People, not parks. Thanks.

  6. What happened to “think global, act local”? Shouldn’t you be the change you want to see in the world? Perhaps you can start by publicly committing money to fix the sod in the park.

  7. We have committed to restoring the grass and have already replanted a lot of it. Also the rest of the grass is still in pretty good shape. We did a trash pickup all the way to Dupont Circle so we are trying to be the change we want to see in the world. Cheers.