While other Occupy camps are being roughly disbanded by over-militarized local police (New York, Oakland, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, etc), the camp in Tallahassee seems to be alive and well, having been established since October of last year, and having been at this location since Thanksgiving.
I found this while leaving Tallahassee after stopping by the Broken Brogan (see more below). I met several camp inhabitants this morning and they were all quite friendly. One of them, Aaron, gave me a thumbnail history of the area, stressing the fact that the city gave them permission to occupy this vacant lot at the corner of West Madison and South Duval. Apparently the Occupy group went to great pains to occupy the area legally.
I find it amazing that the city of Tallahassee would be so open-minded and cooperative with the Occupy group. Or perhaps I shouldn't be, with Florida State University and Florida A&M sitting right next door to the group. Both of these storied schools believe and support populist causes, and have helped produce like-minded local graduates for over 150 years.
The reader should note the "Please" board on the left, and the rules that the collective have set up for themselves. From all outward appearances the group is following these simple but effective rules. This is a far cry from the portrayal of other Occupy groups. I can only speak to the Orlando group, who were attempting to be as well-behaved as the Tallahassee group. The only problem were the local Orlando city fathers, who were manipulated by a local lying Tea Party group into using local City of Orlando police force to move the group and deny them their Constitutionally guaranteed First Amendment rights.
The area devoted to the group is clean and organized, but not regimented. In the peaceful morning, if you didn't know better, you'd think this was a group of camping baby boomers.
I'm showing my age for sure, but this Occupy bus reminds me of the Muppet's Electric Mayhem Bus.
And somebody's gone to the trouble of setting up some green tech. I don't know what the battery is for, but the solar panel is set up to trickle charge it.
When in Tallahassee we stay predominantly at a local Redroof Inn, which is next door to a Cracker Barrel. We eat breakfast there before heading out for the day. Valentine's day has passed; the next commercial holiday is Easter. Rather than speak to the real roots of Easter, folks are more comfortable dealing with Easter eggs, the Easter bunny, and other bright glittery manifestations invented and/or perverted by our American culture.
It's sad when a museum goes belly up, especially due to mismanagement. In the same area as the Occupy group sits the empty hulk that once housed The Mary Brogan Museum Of Art & Science. My daughter attempted to work there part time, but was released back in mid-December, just in time for Christmas. By mid-January of this year the Brogan had closed up shop, a train wreck taken over the edge appropriately enough by someone named Choo-choo (or is it Choo-cha?).
What's sad is to see the simple piece of wrinkled paper haphazardly taped to the inside front, a kind of desperate attempt to convince the world there's still something left inside the place.
Until you start looking around the place with uncovered windows and see the now-empty shop, a key feature of the museum when it was open, that was once filled with merchandise. I picked up a few items when I was there last year.