- Written by Casey Loeschen
Frozen milk and unwelcoming signs leaves Occupy Fairbanks protestor, Ethan Sinsabaugh, even more determined about his cause.
“Hallowed by Veterans. Occupied by Hippies,” said the signs leaning against the Fairbanks North Star Borough Veterans Memorial Park sign.
“What’s funny about the signs is that the majority of our supports are military personal,” said Sinsabaugh, 27, lightheartedly. The complaints they do hear come as "a few shouted comments from cars driving by.
Most common, he said, are people stopping by questioning the group’s purpose or debating the merits of the protest. Even the Borough Assembly members have stopped by to discuss what Occupy Fairbanks is about and why they are sitting in protest at the park, according to Sinsabaugh.
It was minus 32 on Monday morning, Fairbanks had just set a record for the most consecutive days of being below negative 35. Returning to the site after a few days away, new signs were evident around the gazebo. Most of these signs referred to the war. “No! To Drone Warfare,” said one.
“The new signs were from that happened this weekend,” said Sinsabaugh, shrugging. Even though the subject it is not really what he is sitting outside protesting, their party is more about hearing all points of view than just one side. He planed on keeping them up.
Among the hardships of staying at the park: food freezing, getting up in the morning to set the fire, and just being prepared. “We’ve been winging it. We first came out with a wood stove, sleeping bag, and a tent, “ said Sinsabaugh.
Many people help in these difficulties, like Beth Hughes, 52, who brought firewood, food and, no less important, company, to Sinsabaugh and the other protesters out in the tents.
“I really don’t want this movement to die,” she said.
Hughes did not get to protest in the ‘60s and is excited to have so many people involved in the Lower 48 with the Occupy protests. Hughes thinks that with all of the attention in the Lower 48 Occupy protests, the Occupy Fairbanks could get even more momentum and get things done.
“Without the help of people bringing us supplies we wouldn’t be able to do this as well,” said Sinsabaugh. They never leave camp unattended to make sure that equipment does not get vandalized or stolen and to be able to have someone there to talk to people who come up to the tents and signs and discuss what they are trying to do.
“We are getting lots of attention,” said Sinsabaugh. “We hope to keep this momentum to speak at the state wide assembly, and start the discussion. We are staying until a change is made.”
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