Occupy Edmonton has a strong and growing community of supporters. Over the past 21 days we have been able to set-up and serve the needs, not only of our community, but many others as well. We have been giving clothing donations to many members disenfranchised by our society and have provided an active food service. We also provide a base of resistance in Alberta, generally referred to as the “Texas of the north” and less than 200 km from the tar sands the largest and one of the most destructive energy developments on the planet.
Over the winter we are hoping to continue our occupation and providing these services. In order to do that we will need some supplies to last Edmonton’s freezing, harsh winters. We have tried to solicit donations both from the general public and from unions and other larger organizations. Despite active attempts we have only been able to raise around $4,000. The majority of this came from when we first started the occupation and has been harder to get since we set-up. This money will be used for the on-going needs of the camp throughout the winter and further winterization items not included in this proposal ie. food supply staples (not donated), arts supplies (not donated), winter sleeping bags and sleeping pads (not donated), smaller personal winter tents, lanterns, sanitation needs (portapotties for the site), etc. etc. We do have an active finance committee that oversea our finances, to provide transparency and accountability, and all spending over $100 needs to go to our general assembly for approval.
We do have some supplies that have been donated or acquired that we will be setting up in the next few days. Members from the Treaty 6 First Nation, whose traditional territory we are occupied on have given us permission to be on the land and will be erecting a Tee-pee on Monday. The tee-pee will help spiritually ground the camp and provide us a firm foundation from which to move forward with. It will also provide us a warm space in which we can gather and hold general assemblies.
We have some warm sleeping bags and blankets that have been donated from local hotels, warm sleeping mats and supplies for our arts, information tents and food supplies that continue to come in for our food tent.
However we are missing a few essential items that without will make it very difficult if not impossible for us to continue the occupation.
- 2 Large Tent Stoves and 2 Large Canvas Arctic tents.One of our biggest needs right now are warm spaces we can use to continue to provide for the food needs of the camp and to retain our 24-hour presence at the site. We are hoping to use one tent as our winter cooking tent. This tent will allow us to continue to feed the occupiers and other vulnerable community members that need support.
The other tent will be used both for sleeping accommodations during the night and for a meeting/arts space during the day.
The stoves are to keep the tents warm. As we are without power at the site (the ‘owner’ of the park turned off all power outlets) the stoves are essential for providing protection against the cold 24-hrs a day.
- 2 Gas generators.As mentioned above we do not have power at the site. The generators are to help alleviate the power needs at the site and are primarily for the kitchen and media tents. They will be used as a power source and to charge the power packs (see below).
The kitchen needs power throughout the day to cook warm meals, to provide warm tea and coffee and to ensure we all have happy, warm bellies.
The media tent needs power so we can facilitate on-site/off-site communication, so we can send out media and action alerts and so we can continue to main on-going contact with the outside world.
- 2 Power packsThese packs are to give us the ability to store power. As we want to be as environmentally conscience as possible we want to use the generators as little as possible. The packs will allow us to have power on site and to also be able to use it for outdoor activities and actions.
- 2 Medical KitsWe have several nurses and medics as part of our action team. We also have medical supplies but they are unfortunately quite diverse and do not provide a solid medic kit for us to use throughout the winter. Also winter contains specific medical needs that we wish to be prepared for. These medic bags will allow us to provide for and attend to any medical needs.
- Internet stickThis stick will allow us to have internet on-site. This will help facilitate on-site/off-site communication, give us the ability to send out media and action alerts and allow us to continue to main on-going contact with the outside world.
- Building suppliesWe are also hoping for a variety of building materials. Due to the limitations imposed on our site we are not able to build ‘structures’ but do require some materials to further insulate, to build safe lock boxes for materials, to build bunk beds to lift people off the ground, etc. We are trying to get many items donated but will likely need some support to complete our needs. 1 Lift of 12′ 2X4′s, 1/2 Lift of 12′ 2X8′s, 1 Lift of 3/8″ 4X8′ Sheets of OSB, Several 18X24′, Insulated Tarps, 3″ Nails, Several Bags of R20 Insulation, 3 Rolls of, Industrial Grade Poly, Several Boxes of 3/4″ Staples, Several Rolls of Tie Wire.
Bank Account Information: We do have an account through a local non-profit at a credit union. The non-profit is called Edmonton Small Press Association.
Finance: We have a 6-person finance committee that are able to make spending decisions below $100. For items above this amount it must go to a full general assembly for consensus. The finance committee also gives daily reports so that we know the books are in line and all donations are accounted for.