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Forum Post: Mobile hygiene solutions for OWS? :)

Posted 8 years ago on Oct. 24, 2011, 9:35 a.m. EST by jhecht11 (12)
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 jhecht@ix.netcom.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?

URL is https://www.nycga.net/groups/direct-action/forum/topic/mobile-hygiene-solutions-for-ows-possible-direct-actionmedia-event/

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

http://www.uhaul.com/reservations/RatesTrailers.aspx

U-Haul Moving & Storage of Chelsea

562 W 23rd St (11th Av and Chelsea) Manhattan, NY 10011

(212) 620-4177

============

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: info@callahead.com

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!

18 Comments

18 Comments


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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

Stool Train

"longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in toilet history,"

[-] 1 points by jhecht11 (12) 8 years ago

Eh, those with vision will not be de-turd. (grin) Which would you rather have, a clean porta-potty on a flatbed right away, or a l-o-n-g wait for an overloaded public toilet at the local KFC?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

at SDSU (San Diego State University) in 1993,

president Day locked down all the public toilets

someone took a dump on his office steps

The public restrooms re-open

[-] 1 points by jhecht11 (12) 8 years ago

MH>someone took a dump on his office steps The public restrooms re-open

Are you suggesting a "shit-in"? Leaving a "deposit" at a 'piggy' bank? I kinda like the idea.. Where?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 8 years ago

no ...

[-] 1 points by pissedoffconstructionworker (602) 8 years ago

Such a vehicle would fall under a whole slew of regulations and get shut down.

What we need is for area churches and union offices to throw open their doors for the winter.

Possibly OWS could consider subletting a nearby apartment.

[-] 1 points by jhecht11 (12) 8 years ago

POCW>What we need is for area churches and union offices to throw open their doors for the winter. Possibly OWS could consider subletting a nearby apartment.

I agree with the churches & union offices. But I think we need a way to deal with a higher volume of traffic then they can support. How about renting a vacant lot for the porta-potties? The whole point of a porta-potty is that once full, it can be quickly removed, and an empty one put in place. 500 or so people with just 1 or 2 bathrooms won't cut it.

[-] 1 points by jhecht11 (12) 8 years ago

POCW>Such a vehicle would fall under a whole slew of regulations and get shut down.

You are likely right - and that's my point. If the cops shut the truck(s) down on some obscure reg, despite the common-sense value to all of the service, that would be a huge media coup IMO. A whole lotta bad publicity for the NYPD & Bloomberg. And if the trucks are allowed to operate, we win by providing needed services in a highly visible manner. Yes, it's costly.

Could you please give references as to what regs might be used to block the trucks? The more we know about the obstacles involved, the better our decision making process will be about how to proceed.

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 8 years ago

Good idea! That could also ultimately also be used as a command center with stable power etc.

[-] 1 points by Owlet (99) 8 years ago

Um, what's to stop the police from closing off the roads leading to the park?

[-] 1 points by jhecht11 (12) 8 years ago

O>Um, what's to stop the police from closing off the roads leading to the park?

Nothing - we just move the trucks over to the next open streets. If they block those, the next ones. They can't block off all of downtown Manhattan to block our trucks without creating a frozen zone far larger than OWS itself.

[-] 1 points by Owlet (99) 8 years ago

OK, so, what's to prevent the cops from keeping occupiers who use these long-distance bathroom trucks, from returning to the blocked-off streets (and their tents in Zucotti Park)?

You're in a freaking confined area and you're surrounded by cops, and you think you control the city? Pretty naive.

[-] 1 points by jhecht11 (12) 8 years ago

O>OK, so, what's to prevent the cops from keeping occupiers who use these long-distance bathroom trucks, from returning to the blocked-off streets (and their tents in Zucotti Park)?

Have you been down to Zucotti Park or are you commenting long distance? Right now (today) access to the park is easy. people come and go. Yes, that could change in a heartbeat. Until it does, we need to use that (admittedly limited) freedom - to preserve and expand it.

O>You're in a freaking confined area and you're surrounded by cops, and you think you control the city? Pretty naive

I don't think I control anything - please don't put your words in my mouth. They taste bad. I DO think that the whole point of OWS is to challenge boundaries, laws, and regulations.

"You can't camp out here." "Oh yes we can!"

Bottom line - they can't block off really large areas downtown without creating a major disruption worse than OWS itself.

They can certainly try to bust and block our trucks/vans/RVs. We have to be prepared for that.

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 8 years ago

Renting a near by apt. and using its bathroom makes more sense. They could also use this space for a command center with stable power and communications.

[-] 1 points by jhecht11 (12) 8 years ago

S>Renting a near by apt. and using its bathroom makes more sense. They could also use this space for a command center with stable power and communications.

A rational suggestion. Don't know if such are available on a short-term basis, or if landlords would rent to OWS. Could someone check on this?

[-] 0 points by seaglass (671) from Brigantine, NJ 8 years ago

Denying them portas is typical of the PTB. They would deny us air if they could meter it somehow.