Occupy Missoulians gathered at 11 today on the courthouse lawn to erect an Army tent, Korean War vintage. For three hours a carpenter, a leather worker, and two seamstresses modified the main tent poles, sewed up tears, patched, and rebuilt a tent pole mount that was torn, while 100 dollars worth of sandbags was purchased and brought to the site (our effort to preserve the underground watering system by using NO tent stakes).
Then, with some guessing about the side pole and guy ropes (by an outfitter, an old Army medic and a man with civilian tent experience), about 15 occupiers moved the tent onto a swept space in front of the gazebo, tied the corners to trees and sandbags, and erected the tent. With the side poles in place, secured by 33 sandbags, it stands as a beacon of hope for citizen democracy in an age of special interest politics and corporate market management to advantage the top 1%. Our touch and go relationship with the local overlapping governments should now have an anchor on public land that is hard to ignore.
*The main doorway is oriented to the main courthouse sidewalk and away from the NW winds and it will be flanked by two security tents to prevent vandalism, like the night-time overturn of 4 portapotties a week or so back. Out the back entrance is the single porta potty which we have yet to chain to the tree against which it rests.