Posted 8 years ago on Oct. 24, 2011, 9:35 a.m. EST by jhecht11
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Some of us were at a Drinking Liberally event talking about OWS, and the idea arose to provide mobile hygiene solutions for OWS residents. Mayor Bloomberg has forbidden OWS to have porta-potties - that's outrageous!
But what if OWS rented some big trucks and put porta-potties in them? Drove them down to the occupation, and then had them circle Freedom Square? Put handrails and safe steps on them, so people could get on and off safely at stoplights?
At that point the truck is private property - OWS rented it. It is providing a (much-needed) public function in a safe and legal manner. Will the police try and stop it by citing some obscure regulation? Very likely! So every truck should carry video cameras/Internet feeds to document harassment. Any attempt to block a truck goes viral immediately (grin).
The trucks are not parking - although they could if a space was found. They are just obeying the law and driving slowly... But a few large trucks circling the square will certainly slow down traffic in a big way!
Plus, the trucks can carry our SIGNS! Why not? OWS rented them, and has a legal right to place advertising on them! If NYC allows billboard trucks and ads on taxis, OWS is well within the law to place signs on any vehicle we rent.
Nor does the concept have to stop with mobile porta-potties. OWS has some serious coin now - last I heard, about $450K. Spending some of that on caring for our own people in legal ways could give an enormous boost to our efforts - and to the morale and comfort of the Freedom Square occupiers!
How about mobile showers with the grey water recycled? Mobile warming stations for when it gets really cold? Mobile health clinics and libraries? Mobile Internet - much harder to shut down...
And the trucks ARE mobile. If we need to move to a different occupation site, they can be there with us - and quickly! Or they can be scheduled to visit many DIFFERENT occupation sites. "The toilets will be here at 7 am, and back at 9 pm. Between those times they'll be uptown supporting #Occupy Harlem." That could be SO cool...
These are the kinds of things that will make people say, "Look at them - they are organizing to care for each other. They are spending the money that's been donated in productive and creative ways. That's amazing!"
I'm down for the project - contact me at email@example.com. Anybody else on board?
UPDATE <--------- I posted an update to this idea in the 'direct action' group forum. Scale it down to a small truck and one porta-potty to test the law.
UPDATE 2 <——— 10/27/2011 4:52 PM
The more I think about this, the simpler it gets! (grin) We don't need a flatbed truck, just a U-Haul trailer big enough for a porta-potty. The trailer could hook on to almost any car, so that makes the logistics cheaper and easier. I'll check on rental prices asap. Anybody got a suitable car?
UPDATE 3 <-----10/27/2011 6:33 PM
All rates for short rentals. Cheaper if longer term
Get trailer from: U-Haul trailer - $18.95/day - 5 ft x 8 ft open Utility trailer
U-Haul Moving & Storage of Chelsea
562 W 23rd St (11th Av and Chelsea) Manhattan, NY 10011
Get port-potty from: Call-A-Head Karen - very sympathetic to the concept.
800 634 2805 - o 800 634 8127 - f
For use on a truck - the Econohead - MUST MOVE UPRIGHT!
http://www.callahead.com/portable-toilets/econo-head/econo-head.html email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1-4 days = $125 total + $25 delivery
5-30 days = $225 total with one cleanout per week
Karen says we will likely be ticketed for 'moving waste'. Any spillage would bring a much higher fine.
An Econo-head is roughly 300 lbs empty, and maybe 500 lbs when full. It can be tilted slightly, but too far, and you're knee deep in poo and pee. So that means a long ramp, or a fork lift. Or maybe a 'People's Fork Lift' like the People's Mike.
Call-A-Head will not fork lift for us onto the trailer, their drivers wrestle the units on and off trucks. We could too, if we had 18 strong people and some steel pipe to go into the skids on the bottom of the porta-potty.
3 people hold the pipe at each corner of the porta-potty, and lift. If the weight is 500 lbs, that's roughly 84 lbs a person, not too bad.
Once the front of the pipes is over the trailer, the 6 people in front hand off to 6 people in the trailer. The old 'front' people move back along the sides to help lift until the rear 6 are flush to the front of the trailer. Then the old 'front' people move in between the rear people at the back, to help guide the porta-potty onto the trailer.
Once the porta-potty is on the trailer, we slide the pipes out of the skids, and we're ready to go. Getting the porta-potty off is the same steps in reverse.
People's Fork Lift - the porta-potty stays vertical at all times!