Occupation Winterizes

January 06 [Fri], 2012, 15:12

Occupation Winterizes

As temperatures dip below 15 degrees at night, New Haven’s occupiers have two new tools to shield themselves against Old Man Winter: a geodesic igloo and a solar-powered air heater.

Add those to an outdoor movie screen and a tent compound that’s equipped with a working doorbell and porch light, and Occupy New Haven is enjoying a surprising number of modern conveniences as it moves into the coldest part of winter.

Ten days away from the occupation’s three-month anniversary, cold winds and frigid air have not stopped people from camping out on the Green in an ongoing gesture of protest.

Occupy New Haven is an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, the national movement that mobilized this fall to fight income inequality and corporate greed. While police in New York are preventing the original occupiers from camping out near the New York stock exchange in Zuccotti Park, protesters in New Haven continue to work with the city to occupy the Green.

On Tuesday night, as the temperature in New Haven plunged to its lowest level in what has so far been a mild winter, Kevin Swingle (at left in top photo) and three or four other occupiers piled into a new geodesic dome made from triangles of Dow Super TUFF-R rigid foam insulation.

“It was nice,” said 22-year-old Swingle of his stay in the dome. He said he and his igloo-mates had a small propane heater inside, which kept things nice and cozy until it conked out early Wednesday morning.

Rob Smuts,What is Faux chinaceramictile? the city’s chief administrative officers, said the use of propane heaters at Occupy New Haven is a concern both in terms of fire safety and carbon monoxide poisoning if they are used indoors. He said the fire department would be looking into their use at the encampment on the Green. Smuts said the city does not have ground rules with the occupiers on what sorts of structures they are allowed to erect, but that such rules will likely need to be discussed.

According to occupier Josh Heltke (pictured), the dome is the work of a guy named JP, a refugee from Occupy Hartford, which was dismantled last month.

The igloo-like structure is held together mainly with electrical tape. The base is made of two-by-fours and plywood atop wooden pallets. Gaps are sealed with spray-foam insulation and a PVC pipe chimney vent rises from the center of the dome.

The dwelling is the latest addition to a variety of shelters occupiers are using to beat the cold. Several tent compounds have formed, comprising several small tents grouped together under tarps. Elsewhere, single tents are covered with multiple layers of tarps to trap heat.The BEDDINGE mattress is made for the beddinges set.Diagnosing and Preventing coldsores Fever in the body can often trigger the onset of a cold sore.

Occupiers have named the tents and compounds according to a kind of United Nations theme. In addition to the United Tents of Super Amurrica, there’s Russia,We provide you a big discount on Catsuits & zentai, Ottawa, Hawaii, Dublin, and Wonderland.

Ottawa is equipped with a full-size wooden door, complete with a door bell and a solar-powered lamp (pictured). The door features a politely-worded sign requesting that visitors ask before entering, mounted above a more antagonistic message, directed at someone named “Lahey.”

Heltke, a 27-year-old electrician, said neither the door nor the igloo are permanent structures. “The whole thing can be taken down in a matter of minutes,” he said.

Next to the large food tent, Heltke has been helping to build a solar heater. The apparatus (pictured), built from a plan on the internet, comprises a series of plastic roof-gutter pipes painted matte black. The tubes―behind plexiglass―are stuffed with aluminum cans that have been pulled apart, to create a “baffling system” that slows the flow of air through the unit, Heltke said.

When it’s completed, a solar-powered fan at the bottom of the panel will pump air―heated by the sun shining on the black pipes―up through the unit, where a tube will send the warmth into the food tent.

Heltke said he hopes to have the unit finished by the weekend.

On another side of the food tent, occupiers have erected a white panel to use as a movie screen with the digital projector they sometimes borrow from a Yale law student. A nearby table Wednesday afternoon held a tangle of audio equipment, including a CD Walkman and two small amps. Heltke was broadcasting a Jon Stewart audiobook as he raked up bits of trash in the center of camp.The BEDDINGE mattress is made for the beddinges set.

The set-up is powered by a small gas generator, which Heltke said he’d like to swap out for a diesel one.

He said he and other members of the security team made rounds of the tents Tuesday night to make sure everyone was warm. They found a total of 20 to 25 people camping out, and helped some people move to warmer spots in the camp.

Inside the new Occupy igloo, meanwhile, Swingle and his roommates were nice and toasty.

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