Since their occupation began Oct. 15, the participants of Occupy Davis have continued to stand in solidarity.
Emma Kluge, a junior economics major, was inspired by Occupy San Francisco to coordinate Occupy Davis.
The Occupy Davis site maintainer, Ian Holser, said he at first questioned why they should occupy Davis since it isn’t a symbolic target like Wall Street, the Federal Reserve or the Capitol. He said he realized later that the economic issues they are protesting affect society no matter where people are, thus the protest needs to be everywhere.
“It’s difficult to say how many people are participating because not everyone is there at the same time and we rotate,” said Artem Raskin, a junior political science major, as well as a participant of Occupy Davis. “But I think during the night as it’s getting colder, there’s less people.”
Raskin said during their general assemblies, the number of people varies. He said big ones go up to 100, while the small ones fluctuate a lot.
“There’s a fair share of students, but it is fairly diverse,” he said. “I’m guessing over half are students. There are probably more young people, but there are people of all generations present.”
According to Holser, there is an active community behind the people camping and a dedicated batch who spend most of their time at the camp.
“The way Occupy Davis has conducted themselves, we have not had to conduct any formal action,” said Lt. Paul Doroshov of the Davis Police Department (DPD). “So far, our main concerns are personal safety, property damage and anything like that.”
Doroshov said the DPD decided ahead of time to adjust its response based on the actions and behaviors of the participants. He said so far the occupy protesters have been cooperative.
“We’re monitoring the campsite and we work cooperatively with some of their formal leaders,” he said. “At this point, it’s their action that will be our reaction.”
According to Raskin, the community has donated tents, blankets and the like. He said Occupy Davis participants tend to bring their own food and water, although the community has donated food, as well. The camp also has a portable kitchen and they use Central Park’s water fountains as one of their main sources of water.
“We used to have electricity in the park until the city cut it out,” Raskin said. “So since we don’t have heaters, we dress as warmly as we can, although we are trying to get propane tanks.”
To pass the time, there are games at the campsite. Occupy Davis also organizes fun activities for the participants, and just recently the camp had a slumber party dance.
“We invited the community and it went pretty well,” Raskin said.
Occupy Davis has four meetings per week. Its general assemblies are on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m., and its regular meetings are on Fridays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m.
“The main thing we are trying to do is provide a space in which we can discuss the problems of our society and allow people who don’t really have access to a traditional political system to spread their voices,” Raskin said.
CLAIRE TAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.