“Just Another Day in the Life of a Protester” (Think I got it right this time. Thanks Trevor!)
So, I’m driving over to the base of the mountain at 5:30 AM on Monday morning, once again thinking, “This is the last time!” Knowing in my heart that it won’t be. It’s just something I say to myself now as a bit of a joke. Somehow it makes me feel better. This protesting business has a way of consuming your life. I’m a little late. I hope my fellow occupiers aren’t waiting for me.
I pull up and the fire is going with 20 people gathered around drinking coffee. We have a bigger crowd this time! After we talk about how we are going to proceed and who’s going to call who and all the other logistics of the day we start heading up the mountain. There is a lot to carry up with bear costumes, signs, snacks, and extra layers of clothes for the ridge. Some of us have headlamps on which are beaming through the woods. The sun is slowly rising and by the time we are half way up the mountain there is enough light to see the trail. There are a lot of newcomers this time so the dynamics of the group is different. New people working together for the same cause.
We stopped just before we got to the ridge to re-group as we have in the past. Some put on the bear costumes and what tee shirts we had. One of the long-standing occupiers went up first to place himself on a ledge with a video camera. His work of art is on yesterday’s post!
We could hear the trucks and machines running and driving past the area we were about to occupy. We spread out along what GMP says is the property line and embarked on the crane path! Then falling into a single line blocking the Crane Path of any traffic. The workers looked on, shaking their heads. They stood in their own costumes of hard hats, safety glasses and heavy boots. The security guard came over to tell us to leave and take our pictures. We stayed.
It wasn’t long before they pulled out the bulldozer! It came scraping and clanking along the road and I thought, “Darn they are going to get around us again!” But to all of our surprise, one brave occupier walked right into its path with his American Flag and it stopped! I’m not sure if I was more scared or excited! The bulldozer had nowhere to go unless he ran him over because there was a huge rock pile on the side. Later on the bulldozer drove over the pile but it was too much for the trucks to climb.
Then we waited for the police to come and engaged the workers in conversation. One bear stood on the sideline through it all. After a couple of hours we decided to leave, thinking we had made our point and many of us still had to get to work and tend to other responsibilities. As we were leaving the mountain we got a call from a supporter on the Lowell side saying a State Trooper had just arrived and was heading up the access road. Rats we should have stayed longer but it was too late we were already moving down the mountain. Maybe Next Time!